Bangladesh regulators recently agreed to introduce the transgenic Bt cotton in the country. With low yields, the country’s homegrown cotton varieties produce only 3 tonnes of cotton per hectare. Two Bt varieties that the regulators have initially approved will would yield over 4 tonnes per hectare. Farmers will save costs on pesticides against bollworm too.
The Bangladesh National Technical Committee on Crop Biotechnology (BNTCCB), at a recent meeting, gave the go-ahead for two Bt cotton varieties, both sourced from the Hyderabad-based Indian company JK Agri Genetics.
Bangladesh has to pay up to $5 billion annually to import cotton, a key raw material for the apparel industry. The US Department of Agriculture recently projected that Bangladesh would have to import nearly 9 million bales of cotton in 2022-23 against a paltry domestic production of 155,000 bales.
Once introduced, Bt cotton will be Bangladesh’s second genetically-engineered crop after Bt brinjal was introduced in 2013. The approval of another such product–vitamin A-enriched golden rice–has been pending with regulators for the past four years.
The Cotton Development Board’s (CDB) field experiments found that farmers would earn over Tk 100,000 more from each hectare of Bt cotton compared to their earnings from the cultivation of traditional varieties, Bangla media reported.
|Find this article at: http://news.agropages.com/News/NewsDetail---43203.htm|