STAFF REPORT ISB: Bt cotton is being cultivated on 83 per cent of the total sowing area under the crop in Pakistan, which the fourth biggest user of Bt cotton seeds in the world.
“The Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) seeds are sown mostly in Punjab (82.65pc) and Sindh (83.23pc),” said Federal Textile Minister Abbas Khan Afridi told the National Assembly during the current session.
He said that the gene used in local varieties was Mon 531 or Cry1AC, and its patent had expired, making it free to use.
The minister said that a cotton seed production plan for cotton crop 2015, with major focus on Bt cotton varieties, was prepared in collaboration with public and private seed sectors as well as concerned government institutions.
Moreover, a committee was constituted to monitor the progress on achievements in line with the Cotton Seed Production Plan 2015 on a fortnightly basis.