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Bt cotton farming needs to be introduced in Pakistan

Mar '07
Competition of cotton production between Pakistan and India has taken a new turn as India is striving to beat her arch-rival in this field.

According to International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), in 1991, cotton production in India was 267 kg per hectare and in Pakistan it was 615 kg.

While in 2006, India's cotton production per square hector increased to 470 kg and in Pakistan the yield boosted to 679 kg. The growth trend shows that India is reducing the production gap with Pakistan quite rapidly.

Reason for this rise is use of hi-tech cotton research. India is using Bt cotton in an area of 3.8 million hectares and till now Pakistan is using normal seeds.

Statistics reveal that India and Pakistan have lowest yield of cotton per hectare, Australia has 1,864 kg, in Syria it is 1,571 kg, 1,312 kg in Mexico and 1,289 kg in Turkey.

In Pakistan, cotton yield in Punjab is lower than Sindh district. In 2006-07, Sindh increased its yield to 895 kg per hectare while Punjab could produce 689 kg.

Cotton scientists and researchers say that current situation needs to be improved as local industry would need 20 million bales of cotton by 2020.

In 2006-07, cotton has been sown over 2.951 million acres against the target of 3.25 million acres. Total production is estimated at 12.41 million bales against earlier projection of over 13 million bales.

The researchers expect Punjab will produce 16 million bales of cotton by 2014 and its yield will increase from 22 maunds per acre to 33 maunds.

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