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MAY 2009



Bt Cotton will be grown on 800 acres: PARC

May 13, 2009

ISLAMABAD: A two Member Chinese follow up mission headed by Qiquan Zhang, Director General, Agri. Division, Xinjiang Production and Corporation, reached here Islamabad and called on the Chairman, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Dr Zafar Altaf and discussed contents of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be implemented in Punjab and Sindh for growing Bt Cotton.

According to agreement initially Bt cotton would be grown at 800 acre by Chinese at farmers field out of which 400 acre would be used by applying drip irrigation method and 400 by applying sprinkler irrigation method. The PARC would monitor all research activities being carried out through joint venture for production of colored and white cotton at large scale, he added.

Later, the delegation was taken to agricultural research institutes and cotton growing areas of Sindh and Punjab where the Chinese experts selected experimental sites and also had meetings with the experts/scientists engaged in research and development activities. The Chinese follow up mission also met with Secretary, Agriculture, Managing Director, Seed Corporation, Cotton Botanist where they gave detailed briefing to the Chinese mission. The mission also visited Sakrand and witnessed wheat seed processing plant but no delinting facility for cotton was available.

The cotton processing plant was out of order for cotton ginning facility. The scientists working at Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI) Multan apprized the mission that they started work on color cotton in 1993 and developed color shades in cotton gene pool. Dong Li Xia also gave presentation to scientists at the CCRI and Ali Akbar Group about the status of colored cotton in China. Dr Rukhsana, Director AZRI Bahawalpur briefed the Chinese mission about research activities of the institute particularly Biofuel plants development in Pakistan.

At Faisalabad the mission had a meeting with Additional Secretary Agriculture, Natiq Hussain, Chief PND and Dr Noor-ul-Islam, Director Cotton AARI, where, Dr. Zafar Altaf, Chairman, PARC was also present.

They discussed MoU signed by Punjab Government with China on Agriculture. Dong Li Xia, briefing gave detailed presentation at this occasion and Salim Qureshi also gave presentation on Status of Cotton in Pakistan.

During the meeting recommended that Germ Plasm of Hybrid BT color cotton and inter specific hybrids need to be acquired from China and production technology to be tested at five sites selected by Chinese on colored and white cotton at large scale at farmer’s field.