First sowing of <i>Bt</i> cotton in Pakistan
The seed council of Pakistan’s Punjab state is advising farmers on lines of genetically modified insect-resistant Bt cotton suitable for early sowing, reports the news service, Pakistan Biotechnology Information Centre. Punjab is the country’s largest cotton-growing state, accounting for almost 80% of the cotton area. Farmers have been advised to treat seeds with insecticide before sowing to protect them from sucking pests, resistance to which is not exhibited by Bt cotton. The seed council has recommended Bt121 as the best among available Bt cotton varieties for early sowing. Pakistan approved the commercial cultivation of Bt cotton towards the end of last year ( Agrow No 582, p 24) although it was being grown by farmers illegally for some years ( Agrow No 547, p 18).