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CPEP develops intercropping system to fight cotton virus
Dec '16
The Cotton Productivity Enhancement Program (CPEP) project of US has developed an intercropping system to help Pakistan deal with cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV) disease. This technology will protect cotton from curl virus, which otherwise has the capacity to decrease cotton yield by 20 per cent. Cotton is a major raw material for Pakistan’s textile industry.

Researchers are working towards developing the machinery that will help in the implementation of the intercropping system. This research programme will also increase cotton productivity in Pakistan, which accounts for a significant part of Pakistan’s gross domestic product, Dr Jodi Scheffler, a research geneticist with the US department of agriculture (USDA), told mediapersons.

Intercropping of cotton and wheat has the potential to save cotton from curl virus. Early plantation of cotton into standing wheat crop will help improve cotton production, according to Dr Abdul Majeed, country representative for International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA). Application of this system will increase the capacity of cotton to withstand CLCuV when the disease is at its highest level.

The application of new technology has begun in Pakistan’s Punjab province, where sowing starts after mid-November and harvesting begins after mid-May.

CPEP is a 5-year $4.5 million USDA research programme. The project aims to lessen the impact of curl virus on cotton production in Pakistan in order to improve contribution of agriculture, which accounts for a large part of the country’s GDP, said Dr Scheffler.

The USDA is associated with 13 Pakistani research groups from reputed institutions for implementation of CPEP project. (RR)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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