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Introduce Bt cotton seeds with opinion from stakeholders
May '09
Without consulting stakeholders, it is not possible to obtain desired results of introduction of latest Bt cotton technology in the country, said a member on Cotton Committee of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).

“A committee constituted by the government has not finalized the roadmap of introduction of new variety of Bt cotton in the country up till now”, added Mr Ghulam Rabbani, the FPCCI committee member.

“While in the mean time, the government has decided to introduce this technology in the coming kharif crop season”, informed Dr. Waqar Mansoor, Federal Textile Secretary.

Contradiction or confusion? “To look after the follow up technical issues based on the action plan, a committee has been constituted under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MINFA), Mr Rabbani said.

“Before submission of committee's recommendations to MINFA it is not possible to take any step and MINFA will take the final decision about introducing latest technology of Bt cotton after consulting the stakeholders”, he added.

Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) and a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation 'Monsanto' are the members of this committee. The overall situation relating to the transfer of new technology i.e. its value, productivity and reasonable price will be reviewed by these members.

Further, Mr Rabbani said, “For increasing cotton production, signing MoU with Monsanto is not enough and to release biotech varieties in Pakistan, it is necessary to evaluate and monitor Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)”.

According to experts, most of the Bt cotton varieties in Pakistan were wrongly marketed with the notation of resistance to all pests and sometimes, Bt cottonseeds were mixed with non-Bt cottonseeds, which affected the yield.

In 2007-08, the country experienced a downfall in cotton production due to various reasons, the major one among those is said to be the use of fake Bt cottonseeds, other than shortage of water and attack from pests.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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