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Scientists warn of new strains of cotton virus
Apr '11
Eminent scientist Rob W Briddon, while speaking at a recently held conference on crops, organised by the Faisalabad's University of Agriculture said that, cotton leaf curl virus, which devastated five billion dollar worth of crop in 1992, could ruin Pakistan's cotton crop.

He revealed that the virus originated in 1967, and was for the first time noticed in Pakistan in Multan in 1988.

He intimated that, there were chances of the virus moving to other countries via luggage transfer.

Several viruses which damaged cotton crops in Multan have developed into new viruses which may lead to a considerable fall in production. Another virus, Guzeria which emerged in North Africa, has also marked its entry in Pakistan, he said.

Dr Iqrar, Vice Chancellor, University of Agriculture laid emphasis on need to evolve new technologies and techniques to boost the country's per capita production.

He said that the country needs to do much to overcome agricultural challenges, and added that, considering these challenges, the University has intensified its efforts in the area of education and research.

Dr Noorul Islam, Director General of Ayub Agriculture Research Institute said that, the country has considerably advanced in the field of agriculture and has made noteworthy developments.

He revealed that, 60 years back, the country just had 14 ginning mills, 9 flour mills, 2 textile units and 2 sugar mills, while today it houses 2,000 ginning mills, 915 flour mills, 521 textile units and 82 sugar mills.

Editor's note –
The Pakistani cotton farming sector has lost billions of dollars worth of crops in the last few years due to attack form pests and virus. There is a urgent need to develop pest and virus related seeds or pesticides which can control them.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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