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Old Wednesday, April 14, 2010
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Default Eight BT Cotton varieties and one hybrid variety has been approved

4/1/2010 -- Eight BT Cotton varieties and one hybrid variety has been approved by Punjab Seed Council for cultivation in Punjab whereas 2 BT varieties have been deferred.

39th meeting of Punjab Seed Council was held today at Agriculture House, Lahore chaired by Malik Ahmad Ali Aulakh, Minister for Agriculture, Punjab. The meeting was attended by Mr. Arif Nadeem, Secretary Agriculture, Punjab, Managing Director, Punjab Seed Corporation, Cotton Commissioner (MINFA), Director General Agri. (Research), Director General Agriculture (Extension) representatives of Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department, Trading Corporation of Pakistan Cotton Ginners and cotton growers. The proposals of 11 varieties of BT cotton / hybrid evolved by research institutions of the Government and private sector were presented in the meeting. While discussing and considering for approval, the breeders of BT varieties presented the case of their varieties for approval by highlighting trial results and performance of the candidate varieties and their characteristic. After discussing at length and keeping in view the data presented for candidate varieties IR-3701 evolved by Nuclear Institute for Bio-Technology & Genetic Engineering (NIBGE), Faisalabad, Ali Akbar-703 developed by M/s. Ali Akbar Seeds, Multan, MG-6 and Sitara-008 developed by M/s. Nawab Gurmani Foundation, Kot Addu and M/s. Agri. Farm Services, Multan respectively were approved for cultivation. Whereas BT varieties including IR-1524 developed by NIBGE, Fisalabad, FH-113 of Cotton Research Institute, AARI, Faisalabad, Ali Akbar-802 of M/s. Ali Akbar Seeds, Multan and Neelam-121 developed by M/s. Neelam Seeds, Multan were approved for one year for field performance / monitoring of the varieties. One Hybrid variety GM-2085 developed by M/s. Guard Agricultural Research Services, Raiwind Road, Lahore was also approved. Two candidate BT cotton varieties including CEMB-01 and CEMB-02 developed by Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology, University of Punjab, Lahore were deferred by Punjab Seed Council.

While concluding the Minister for Agriculture, Punjab underlined that BT cotton varieties are being approved by Punjab Seed Council for the first time since the process was initiated eight years earlier. He congratulated the breeders for their research and performance. He hoped that cotton production of Punjab will significantly increase through cultivation of these BT varieties which have effective resistance against Bollworms. The Minister for Agriculture, Punjab also directed the Federal and Provincial Government organizations to take strict action against seed companies who are involved in selling fake and sub-standard cotton seed.
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