MULTAN - Punjab Seed Council (PSC) on Friday approved two new Bt cotton varieties developed by agriculture scientists of Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI) Multan, making the 45-maunds plus potential production varieties accessible to farmers for general cultivation once the National Bio-Safety Committee (NBC) gives a go-ahead signal to the new entrants to the cotton seed family of Pakistan.
Cotton Commissioner Dr Zahid Mahmood, who earlier served as director of CCRI Multan, presented the case of two varieties before a big panel of scientists from across Punjab in the 57th PSC meeting chaired by the Punjab agriculture minister in Lahore, a press release issued by CCRI Multan said. The Bt varieties including CIM-775 and Cyto-511 possess characteristics like good quality fibre, better production potential, and resistance against Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCuV). CCRI Multan has already sent a letter to National Bio-Safety Committee (NBC) for approval of the two varieties. The agriculture scientists congratulated Dr Zahid on the development. Dr Zahid said that the research institutes working under the umbrella of the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) would continue to introduce new climate-smart and cost-effective varieties with the best quality traits.
He said that varieties from CCRI Multan’s Plant Breeding and Genetics and Cyto Genetics department scientists would continue to grab the attention of the farming community.He said that Bt Cyto-511 was heat resistant with the potential of higher production in extremely hot weather conditions while Bt CIM-775 was a marvellous variety having resistance against the sucking pests.