With Pakistan-US collaboration, a new highly tolerant Cotton variety is developed
Islamabad:A closeout meetingof ICARDA-USDA/USAID Project “Mitigating the Effects of Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCuV) and Supporting Cotton Best Management Practices for Small Farmers” convened on July 13, 2021 at National Agricultural Research Centre, PARC. Federal Minister for NFS&R, Sayed Fakhar Imam was the chief guest, while Chairman PARC, Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan; Agricultural Counsellor, Ms. Lisa Anderson, Country Manager, ICARDA,Dr. Abdul Majid Country Manager ICARDA, Dy. DG Research (ICARDA) Dr. Michael Baum were the distinguished guests. Scientists from USA and Pakistan, delegates from USAID and progressive cotton growers from across the country were also present.
While talking about the success of US-Pakistan collaboration in agriculture sector particularly in cotton Industry, Sayed Fakhar Imam told that, agriculture provides massive support to the economic growth and Cotton as a cash crop contributes about 55.11% to export. Though we are the 5th largest cotton producer in the world but due to Cotton Leaf Curl Virus Disease (CLCVD) and its Burewal type, country’s per acre yield is low. Through this project, USDA and ICARDAhelped to import more than 5,000 cotton accessions from USA for screening against this disease in Pakistan. While adding the achievement in this project, Federal Minister informed, “I am pleased to know that a new cotton variety IR-NIBGE-11 is developed and approved by Punjab Seed Council in January 2021,which is no doubt a big help to Pakistani cotton growers from USA. Also02 virus resistant, cotton accessions are also released as source of virus resistant in USA by Dr. Jodi Scheffler from USDA Agriculture Research Services (ARS).He also paid gratitude to U.S. government for its cooperation in cotton research for development and hoped to continue the same in the future.
Chairman PARC Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan remarked at the occasion that sowing of cotton in standing wheat is done successfully which is also incorporated at farmer’s fields at Bahawalpur district. Around 2600 farmers from Sindh and Punjab have been trained and provided infrastructural facilities for best management practices of cotton cultivation to mitigate the loss and increase the production. This year IR-NIBGE-11 variety has been planted for seed multiplication and next year it shall be given to farmers for cultivation. So we are rapidly improving our cash crop production with the international assistance.
Dr. Abdul Majid Country Manager ICARDA also gave his remarks and said “With the collaboration of federal and provincial institutes of Pakistan, NGO’s FIDA and WADO, we reachedthis far and we are going on to develop disease resistant cotton varieties. Our future efforts focus on seed quality, trainings for seed harvesting,storage and to mitigate the climate change impacts through breeding and management.