Development of Bt cotton for biosafety in Pakistan
August 8, 2012
Cotton is an important cash crop for Pakistan known as “white gold”. It accounts for 8.2 percent of the value added in agriculture and about 3.2 percent to GDP. Agricultural biotechnology is playing an important role to gain better crops and food for bio-safety.
So, many farmers in the world are focusing genetic engineered varieties (GE) to improve cotton yield.
American multinational Monsanto Company develops genetically engineered first BT cotton variety, Firstly BT cotton seed named as BT-121 smuggled from neighbouring country-India and grown in Upper Sindh.
If we seen at the Pakistan problems, there are two major types of pests which are damaging cotton crops – sucking and chewing; sucking pests controlled by strong pesticides but major challenge to control chewing pests i.e. known as Bollworms – American, Army, Pink and Spotted bollworm are major causes to decrease cotton crop yield and lint quality.
Another recent disease cotton leaf curl virus (CLCV) spread in Punjab and Sindh pushed our institutes.
But in order to benefit from its true potential, government and all key stakeholders including farmers, seed companies, R & D institutes, seed dealers and traders are involved in commercial activity for Agricultural development.
If we choose to ignore regulatory frameworks that govern the chain of activity, and international agreements on Biosafety that Pakistan is signatory to, to make quick bucks or in an attempt to provide a speedy access of technology to the farmers, we shall end up losing the benefits from the technology in the long run by undermining it.
More news from: PABIC (Pakistan Biotechnology Information Center)
Published: August 8, 2012