Debate on imported Bt cotton seed
MULTAN: The farming community of southern Punjab gave a mixed reaction to a Punjab government’s decision to drop a proposal of introducing certified imported seed of Bt cotton in collaboration with Monsanto.
Former Speaker and a progressive farmer Syed Fakhar Imam said that the Punjab government should bring this issue for discussion in its committee on food, agriculture and livestock and a decision be taken after reviewing all aspects of the matter.
He said earlier Monsanto held negotiations with the federal government and after passing of 18th amendment, Monsanto signed a memorandum of understanding with the Punjab government.
“China signed such agreements with various countries during the last one decade. They have signed agreement with China in 1996, later with Australia and with in India in 2002. We can sign such agreements but after reviewing all aspects of the matter,” he said.
He said if scientists are in a position to introduce varieties that could increase per acre yield, there is no need for such an agreement.
“Varieties with resistance against mealybug, sucking bug, cotton leaf curl virus and many other pests that cause damage to the cotton crop should be introduced.
Rasheed Langah, President Kissan Board, Rajanpur, said that there was a need to bring discipline in seed business as the Punjab government had relaxed rules for private seed companies that was damaging not only crop production, but the
national economy as well.
He said that without adopting the required legal procedures, there could be no increase in the per acre yield.
Kh Mohammad Shoaib of Farmers’ Vision Forum said that nobody can deny that the Monsanto has latest technology of Bt Cotton.
He said that the government should hold negotiations with Monsanto as the agreement would be beneficial if it was done through a proper system.