ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) had so far developed and approved about 98 high yielding cotton seed varieties for cultivation and commercialization in order to enhance per acre crop output across the cotton growing areas of the country. These verities were developed and commercially demonstrated from 2000 to 2018, had resulted in significant per acre increase in yield and decreased the pest attacks damaging the crop, said said Cotton Commissioner in Ministry of National / Food Security and Research Khalid Abdullah.
Out of the total cotton seed varieties developed so far 68 varieties were developed by the public sector and 30 by the private sector as the government was working to strengthened the public private partnership. He said the government was determined to phase out use of all conventional seed varieties, which were breeding stones for the spread of insects attacks particularly cotton leaf curl virus and pink ball worm and others.
During last season, he said that cotton seed demand was recorded at 40,000 metric tons and 80 percent quality seed supply were ensured to farmers, adding that Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department had assigned a task to ensure 100 percent certified seed supply for farmers by the next season.
Meanwhile, he said that Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) had so far approved and developed 53 new high yielding cotton seed varieties for cultivation for sowing in different ecology in order to enhance the major cash crop output in the country for maximizing the farms income particularly benefiting the small scale as farmers.
The committee was also working on war footings basis to produce high quality BT seed varieties to produce the crop of international standards, which would help in boosting the raw cotton exports from the country.
He said that research scientists across the country were working in different cotton crop research institutions in Punjab and Sindh to develop the seed as according to their ecological requirements.
The research was enabling them to provide drought reliant, high yielding seeds to farmers to enhance per acre crop output for enhancing their income as well as fetching the foreign exchange for the country, he added.
During recent past, he said that 28 cotton seed varieties were developed by the Central Cotton Research Institute Multan, 11 by CCI Sarakand, 8 by Bahawalpur and 3 by Sahiwal Cotton Research Station.
Meanwhile, Cotton Research Station Ghotki had developed 2 seed varieties, besides Cotton Research Station D.I Khan developed one cotton seed varieties for cultivation across the crop sowing areas of the respective districts, he added.
These varieties were Virus tolerant, high yielding, drought tolerant with desirable fibre characteristics and would help to develop the cotton on modern lines and get rid from the outdated and uncertified seed, which was damaging the crop and causing the attacks of different pests, he mentioned.