Pakistan-China cooperation program on cotton improvement is underway, China Economic Net 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. Scholar on the program initiated by Cotton Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in collaboration with Cotton Research Institute Multan, Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, and several Pakistani agriculture universities.
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. Asiatic Cotton existed since prehistory and have been under cultivation mostly in China, India, and Pakistan, has a lot of good qualities including resistance to diseases and tolerance to extreme weathers but has coarse fiber and very low yield. “Selected lines from these crosses will be further evaluated across various locations of China and Pakistan to choose the best varieties having the ability to grow well with high yield and fiber quality under diverse climatic conditions of China and Pakistan,” Shahid noted.