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Farmers to adopt Bt cotton seeds for enhancing yield
Jun '08
In order to boost cotton production, the Government department is initiating talks with US firm Monsanto to evolve Bt cotton seeds suitable to Pakistani climate. It is hoped that this seed would be made available within two years time and would help enhance production of cotton to meet the growing demand of the textile industry.

Mr Mian Muhammad Anwar of the Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI) told at a seminar that India had expanded its cotton production from 17 million bales to 30 million bales just by adopting BT cotton seeds. Pakistan could also follow suit with the help of Monsanto to ensure a healthy growth for its industry on which it depends heavily for its revenues.

It was also made amply clear that if growers do proper picking of cotton to procure clean lint, it could be exported at a premium price fetching higher revenues.

Mr Abdur Rauf, Secretary, in the Textile Ministry told the media that best ginning practices and obtaining clean cotton through processing was one of the most crucial ways to expand cotton exports and create market stability.

There are a total of 500 textile mills in the country of which nearly 100 are dysfunctional because of various infrastructural reasons. Cotton output reached a maximum of 11 million bales against the domestic demand of 17 million bales.

Faced with a shortage of raw material, the manufacturers had no options but to import the remaining 6.0 million to feed its textile processing units.

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