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Zimbabwean biotech body pitches for Bt cotton
Aug '14
A government biotech body told the Zimbabwean parliament to push for Bt cotton seeds to arrest the production of a declining cotton crop.

The Herald reported that CEO of the National Biotechnology Authority (NBA) Dr Jonathan Mufandaedza told a Parliamentary committee that Zimbabwe should take up production of raw cotton from Bt cotton seeds, since they are pest resistant and offer better yields.

He pushed his case by saying, “Documentary evidence shows that Bt cotton seeds increase yield by 24 percent. Cotton is affected by pests the whole world, so the gene which they have put into Bt cotton seeds fights against pests”.

Dr Mufandaedza said the Zimbabwean cotton farming industry was not in good shape because of high production costs and financial returns were low, hence adopting Bt cotton would solve some of the challenges and increase yields.

He added that if the government decides to adopt Bt cotton, NBA was a competent authority to regulate such technology.

The Herald, quoting the Agricultural Marketing Authority said, cotton acreage plunged from 283,000 hectares in 2012 to 125,000 hectares because of high production costs and low cotton market prices.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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