MINFAL & Monsanto jointly propose new Bt Cotton Technology

November 04, 2008 - Pakistan

Pakistani authorities are in favor of introducing Bt cotton cultivation, but through formal means. Cotton growers in the country have also been persistently demanding the availability of formally approved Bt cotton varieties for improving per hectare yield.

For the purpose, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock has been working on a two pronged strategy. Developing the technology through indigenous capabilities as well as inviting the Multi-national Companies to bring in the technology in the country.

In an exclusive interview with Fibre2fashion, Dr Ibad Badar Siddiqui, Vice President, Pakistan Central Cotton Committee, told, “In this regard, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MINFAL) and M/S Monsanto have also signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to expand cotton production in Pakistan by introducing Monsanto-derived insect protection technology.

"M/s Monsanto have however been advised that, MINFAL would like to go for Bollgord-II or any other latest technology. Monsanto may test their Bollgord II cotton hybrids under Pakistan conditions for ascertaining its adoptability following the prescribed procedures.”

Sources from Monsanto confirm the news by saying, “Monsanto Pakistan made a presentation to MINFAL at Islamabad about Bt Cotton introduction model in Pakistan last month. The aim was to present a sustainable business model with reference to Pakistani conditions.”

The Government is currently considering various models presented by Monsanto and other seed companies and will take a decision after considering the facts and data.

Further, Monsanto has proposed to introduce the latest Bt Cotton Technology in Pakistan which would help in reducing the current yield losses. Currently, Pakistan is importing about 2 million bales and the aim is to reduce imports in the near future and increase local production.