China to help develop new variety of
The Government is exploring to acquire biotechnology from Chinese companies for
developing virus-cum-pest-resistant genetically-modified cottonseeds, and the
officials of the Ministry of Agriculture are said to be in negotiations with few
such firms. Also involved in negotiations with the agriculture ministry is an
American multinational firm Monsanto, having its offices in Lahore.
A debate is already going on among officials of the agriculture ministry and
provincial departments on enhancing cotton output and developing a
virus-cum-pest resistant variety.
The textile industry wants cotton production to go up to 20 million bales in the
next few years and the issue of ongoing debate is whether to seek assistance
from Western multinational or Chinese companies that have adapted Western
technology according to their needs and are capable of meeting requirements of
In Pakistan, two national research institutions—the National Institute of Bio-
Genetic Technology and Centre of Excellence of Bio-Molecular Research -- have
developed some technology of genetically- modified seeds.
This season, there is an expectation of reaping more than 5 million bales of Bt
cotton from Punjab and Sindh.