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Bt cotton to help attain target of 20 mn bales by 2015
Jul '10
Almost 65 percent contribution in Pakistan's foreign exchange earnings comes from cotton alone. More so, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission's (PAEC) Biotech Centre, NIBGE, has developed two varieties of Bt cotton namely, IR 3701 and IR 1524, which is expected to help attain government's Cotton Vision 2015, which in turn is aimed at increasing the production with a target of 20 million bales by 2015.

As per a PAEC official, Bt cotton technology is expected to lessen the input cost and also reduce the number of sprays of harmful and toxic chemicals. This official further added that, the Plant Genomics and Molecular Breeding Labs of NIBGE developed IR 3701, which possesses high ginning outturn (GOT) percentage (43-47 percent) and is considerably higher than the GOT (35-40 percent) of the currently cultivated varieties.

The bottom-line is, there will be more lint than seeds, said the official, further adding that, this variety has already out-numbered the standards and all Bt cotton lines, which were tested in NCVT 2009-10. The second approved variety IR 1524 is resistant to stress from water, a feature emerging as a national threat to the productivity of agriculture.

The second variety has also displayed resistance to cotton leaf virus disease. It is now expected that these two aforesaid approved varieties of cotton will soon be grown in bigger cotton areas of Sindh and Punjab.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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