Pak-China cooperation program on cotton improvement underway


Observer Report


Pakistan-China cooperation program on cotton improvement is underway, China Economic Net (CEN) reported on Tuesday.
“While Pakistan is still struggling to cope with the problems of insect pests, diseases, fiber quality and yield in the cotton industry, China has already made a significant breakthrough to overcome these problems long ago, said agriculture scientist Muhammad Shahid Iqbal.
Shahid is currently working as a Ph.D. scholar on the program initiated by Cotton Research Institute (CRI), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) in collaboration with Cotton Research Institute Multan, Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, and several Pakistani agriculture universities.
He is part of the Pakistan-China joint research program aimed at cotton improvement especially for fiber quality and yield, which is beneficial to both countries.
Since the last few years, especially with the introduction of CPEC, China and Pakistan have developed many collaborative activities and joint projects in the agricultural sector where the scientific staff of both countries can work together.
“It’s beneficial for both sides because the geological proximity and similar weather conditions in some parts of the countries mean more convenience and efficiency in conducting field experiments,” Shahid said.
Pakistan has seen a lower production of cotton for the past several years because of frequent extreme weathers, the scourge of insect pests, and insufficient technological investment in the cotton industry.
“So the objective of the program I’m working on is to crossbreed a new variety of cotton that may have better performance for yield, quality, and resistance across diverse environments,” Shahid said in an interview with CEN.