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Bt cotton seeds raise production prospects in Paraguay
Mar '14
During the current harvest season, the Latin American country of Paraguay is expected to produce around 1,800 to 2,000 kg of cotton per hectare, despite the drought, owing to use of transgenic cotton (Bt cotton) seeds, as per the Paraguayan Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG).

According to a statement issued by MAG, Ubaldo Britos, coordinator of the Cotton Program of MAG, said that this year, production prospects are high due to use of Bt cotton seeds in fields across the country, especially in the northern part of Paraguay.

Mr. Britos said that with the cooperation of producers associated with the National Peasant Federation (FNC), Bt cotton seeds were planted on an area of 125 hectares in the country, and farmers expect good results this year.

The MAG official said the cultivation was carried out very carefully by the farmers, with proper concern in controlling pests, as directed by the rules of the National Quality and Plant Health and Seeds (SENAVE).

Cotton producers need to be more careful during the cultivation of both conventional as well as Bt cotton, as pests can damage both kinds of crops, however, during an experiment by MAG it was found that damage to conventional cotton crops was higher than Bt cotton, he added.

According to the latest statistics released by the Central Bank of Paraguay (BCP), during the first two months of 2014, the country exported only 505 tons of cotton, indicating a drop of 54 percent compared to the same months in 2013, when around 1,104 tons of cotton was exported.

As per the BCP data, export earnings from cotton totaled US$ 997,000 during the month of January and February this year, registering a decline of 53 percent, compared to the $2.1 million exports of cotton made during the same period last year.

In 2013, the country exported 13,492 tons of cotton worth $25 million, as per BCP statistics. 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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