UAF (Pakistan) setting up a Bt cotton certification centre
Sep. 10, 2012
University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) is going to set up a bio monitoring cell for the certification of Bt Cotton efficiency at Center of Agricultural Biochemistry and Biotechnology (CABB, UAF) thereby to enable the growers sow best quality of the seed to which they supposed to highly pay for and also to set a standardised system for tracing and testing the Bt Cotton.
The assertion was made during an inaugural session of a training workshop for testing transgenic crops with Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan Vice Chancellor as chief guest here at new senate hall of the university on Wednesday morning. To analyse the Bt characteristics of the seed which is being used by the farmers on the name of Bt cotton, a research entitled "present scenario of Bt cotton cultivation in Pakistan and future prospects" was carried out by Dr Masooma Naseer Cheema, revealed that they collected samples of the 52 Bt genotypes from the farmers' field of the cotton belt and found only 15 percent of the total collected cotton lines were found approved and upto required lethal level of Bt characteristics.
She said majority of the farmers are not well aware about the seed quality of the Bt cotton due to lack of knowledge and capacity to analyse the transgenic crops in public as well as the private sector. Addressing the participants Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that UAF is working on developing policy papers on wheat storage, sasti roti programme and Bt cotton fearlessly, neutrally, and based on empirical evidence for government and public at large.
He said producing 13.6 million bales this year is a big achievement through Bt intervention and hoped that proposed bio monitoring cell for certification of Bt cotton and capacity building workshop would open new windows of services for farmers, seed companies and other stakeholders.
He applauded the research being done by CABB and described it purposeful and an eye-opener for the policy organs of the government and the farmers at large. He said that the research has approved a general public opinion that malpractices exist in the market on the name of Bt cotton.
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