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Monsanto signs MoU to launch Bt cotton seeds
Apr '10
An American biotechnology company, Monsanto, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government on April 10, to introduce insect-resistant Bt-cotton, corn and other advanced seed technologies in Pakistan, to help improve their per acre yield.

Latest Bt-cottonseeds such as, Bollgard-II and Bollgard-II X Roundup Ready Flex (BG-II and BG-IIxRRF) are soon to be introduced and assessment of the company's exotic hybrids will also commence thereafter. All this will take place, keeping in mind the local problems of cotton crop, including cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV) and the mealy bug.

Monsanto will not demand any technology fee and royalty with respect to introduction and establishment of licensed hybrid Bt-cotton. By enforcing and executing the required rules and legislations, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, will lend a hand to Monsanto, to develop hybrid Bt-cotton farming culture in the country.

The MoU will be regulated, interpreted in harmony with the laws of Pakistan and will also be reviewed annually. The MoU can be altered or modified at any given time by a written agreement between the parties and can also be terminated by either party at any time on a 30-day notice period.

With a contribution of 3.2 percent on the net domestic produce, cotton helps the country earn about 60 percent of its foreign exchange through overseas sale of textile value-added products.

Despite being the fourth-largest cotton producer, the third-largest raw cotton exporter and a leading yarn exporter, across the globe, it holds the thirteenth position for its yield per acre. On an average, Pakistan imports almost 3 – 4 million cotton bales, yearly and also produces almost 12 million bales. It needs atleast 16 million bales.

Reasons for Pakistan's low yield are high input prices, increased amount of insect and pest attack, dearth of good-quality seeds, water shortage and lack of access to improved technologies and awareness.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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