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Philippines to revive cotton industry with GM variety
16
Jun '15
The Philippine Fibre Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) plans to revive local production of cotton through the use of genetically modified varieties, according to media reports.

Through Bt cotton, local production output of the crop is expected to skyrocket by 2020 and potentially set up export to Southeast Asian countries, said PhilFIDA officer-in-charge deputy executive director Petronilo Jabay, the Malaya Business Insight newspaper has reported.

Bt cotton production output in five years could reach an estimated 66,000 metric tonnes (MT).

The agency recently released its five-year roadmap in support of local production of Philippine Fiber Crafts, which includes the cotton industry.

“The production of Bt cotton can potentially revive the country’s cotton industry,” said PhilFIDA officer-in-charge executive director Clarito Barron.

The agency wants to increase the land area used for cotton planting to more than 22,000 hectares by the end of the five-year period, the report said.

Bt cotton is a modified variety which produces toxins that naturally protects it against some insects and pests without the use of pesticides.

The commercialisation of this variety to the local farmers is set to be rolled out by September or October, Barron said.

Apart from increased production, it will also help improve revenue-flows to the local cotton farmers who rely on traditional cotton seeds susceptible to pests and insects.

Around 5 million pesos ($0.11 million) has been allocated by the department of agriculture to support multi-location field testing of Bt cotton in the country. (SH)

Fibre2fashion News Desk – India

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