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Indian firms eager to cash on rising Bt cotton seed demand in Pakistan
07
Dec '10
Pakistan has decided to permit commercial cultivation of Bt cotton, following which the Indian seeds firms are gearing up to take advantage of the rising demand for Bt cotton seeds for the purpose of field-trial.

It is only in the last six months that at least three Indian companies have acquired the country's bio-tech regulator, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee's (GEAC) permission for exporting Bt cotton seed required for carrying out field-trials at multiple locations in various agro-climatic zones of Pakistan.

During its last meeting in September, GEAC permitted Bioseed Research India to supply Pakistan based Monsanto Pakistan Agritech Pvt Ltd. with Bt cotton BGII (Bollgard) cotton hybrids including cry 1Ac and cry 2Ab genes.

As revealed by the GEAC, the main purpose underlying this export was to facilitate field-trials at multiple locations in various agro-climatic zones of Pakistan.

However, this approval is subject to sanction from the National Biodiversity Authority based in Chennai and Pakistan's National Biosafety Committee, it stated. India permitted commercialization of Bollgard II in 2006.

Pakistan, being the fourth biggest cultivator of cotton in the world, the total area under cotton cultivation there comes to around 40 percent of the area under cotton cultivation in India.

In 2008, around four million farmers in India cultivated more than 300 brands of hybrid Bt cotton seeds on 79 percent of the country's overall cotton acreage by applying four competing techniques.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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