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Pak minister calls for war on cotton virus
Aug '15
Pakistani Food Minister Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan has said that scientists must pay attention to the scourge of the leaf curl virus disease that has been causing colossal loss of two to three million bales of cotton every year. His comments came at the inauguration of a two-day annual workshop on “Enhancing Cotton Germplasm Improving Resistance to CLCV Disease,” in Islamabad, according to Pakistani media reports.

He said cotton was an important cash crop that earned 51 per cent of the total foreign exchange besides providing employment to millions in Pakistan.

The two-day workshop was organised by the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Area (ICARDA) in collaboration with the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) with an aim to apprise the scientists about latest developments in the research of cotton disease.

The minister acknowledged the efforts of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which he said has chosen the right time to assist Pakistan to conduct a comprehensive research on this disease with a focus on developing CLCV resistant varieties.

Bosan stressed the need for developing knowledge-based response to Pak-US climate change, environmental and broader sustainability challenges. The minister also underlined the importance of working together to create coherent and ambitious vision that should reflect the best Pak-US agricultural cooperation.

The minister thanked the US government for monetary assistance and scientific cooperation in an extremely important field of the cotton sector. The minister also paid tributes to the scientists of US and Pakistan for their remarkable achievements in cotton research.

PARC chairman Dr Iftikhar Ahmad termed the Pak-US CLCV as one of the successful programmes which he said would not only help overcome the disease in Pakistan but would also help check its spread across the continents.

He said that vigorous efforts are needed to fight the disease that could spread to other countries including Australia and US. (SH)


Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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