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Cotton farmers letdown by substandard seed quality

17
Apr '08
Ginners and traders in Pakistan have lamented the fact that the country has failed to improve the quality and enhance the volume of Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) cotton variety for the overall growth of the textile industry.

Infact, the country has also failed to ensure the use of certified seeds and as a consequence there is a widespread fear that cotton yield for the season 2008-09 may not reach the set target of 14.11 million bales.

Unless production of standard quality seeds, supply of quality inputs and availability of water is guaranteed, cotton produce may only drag as far as 12.80 million bales, asserted an official of Karachi Cotton Association (KCA).

Although cotton sowing season began in April, growers demand for certified seeds have not met positive response.

Experts have discerned that due to price considerations, a large number of countries have switched their priorities from cotton to other fibres. However, since traders find this market commodity comparatively inexpensive, there remains an increasing demand for the crop despite negative news about its future prospects.

Farmers are still facing difficulties in putting up a resistance to Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCV) attack and even cotton institutes in Sakrand (Sindh) and Khanewal (Punjab) have disappointed growers concerning quality supply of seeds.

Multinational corporations must employ cotton experts in order to guide farmers in the production of quality seeds in the country.

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