Pakistan: Govt sets cotton target at 19m bales for 2015



The Senate Standing Committee on Food and Agriculture was informed on Friday that the government has setcotton production target at 19.1 million bales for 2015 compared with 13 million bales in 2010.

The committee was told that US seed company Monsanto and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture have been working together for promoting the use of Monsanto cotton hybrid seeds in the country, which would enhance production of the crop. Monsanto will also transfer Bt cotton technology, including Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex, to Pakistan.

Commenting on the government’s agreement with Monsanto, Khawaja Shoaib, who was representing farmers, said that the government was totally depending on Monsanto and claimed that this would not benefit the country.

“We should acquire technology from Monsanto but produce seed varieties ourselves, benefiting from the research of the country’s scientists; unfortunately, we are ignoring our scientists by depending on Monsanto,” he observed.

Senator Syeda Sughra Imam was of the opinion that the whole world was increasing production of cotton by using Monsanto’s technology and Pakistan should as well.