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China makes headway in developing advanced GM cotton
Mar '12
Researchers in China have made much progress in developing indigenous variety of second generation genetically-modified (GM) cotton, Vice Minister of Agriculture Jiayang Li has said.

The first generation GM cotton was developed in the 1990s, which is resistant to pests. The new generation is aimed at improving the quality of cotton fibre as well as increasing production, Mr. Li, who is also the President of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), said.

Prof. Yu Shuxun, General Director of the Cotton Research Institute of CAAS, said over 100 million farmers in China are engaged in growing cotton and around 19 million people work in the country's textile industry.

He said cotton production is very important for China's huge textile industry, as it is much dependent on imports for cotton.

In 2011, around 40 percent of cotton used by China's domestic textile industry was imported, said Prof. Yu.

He added that China's heavy dependence on imports, especially for high quality cotton, is an impediment in modernization of the textile industry in the country.

He hoped that the introduction of new cotton variety will give high yields and increase competitiveness of China's textile industry.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - China

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