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SCIENCE & PLANTS: Pakistan and China sign agriculture agreements to develop Bt cotton



                                  PART 1


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TITLE:  PAKISTAN, CHINA SIGN AGRICULTURE AGREEMENTS

SOURCE: Daily Times, Pakistan

AUTHOR: 

URL:    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20081118story_18-11-2008_pg7_49

DATE:   18.11.2008

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PAKISTAN, CHINA SIGN AGRICULTURE AGREEMENTS

BEIJING: Pakistan and China signed two agreements to co-operate in agriculture on Monday. The agreements were signed in the presence of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Chinese Bio-Technology (BT) Cotton and the Punjab Seed Corporation signed the first agreement. Under the agreement, the inventor and developer of gene of BT Cotton, Professor Gu, will soon visit Pakistan and start work on pest-resistant crops. The second agreement was signed between Agro Group of Companies and a Wuhan-based institution to research on pesticides in Pakistan. All weather relations and strategic partnership between Pakistan and China would continue to strengthen, Shahbaz said while meeting People?s Political Consultative Conference Chairman Jia Qinglin. Qinglin also praised the contributions made by Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for strengthening bilateral relations. In response to the invitation of the Chinese government, Shahbaz assured Qinglin that Nawaz would soon visit China.



                                  PART 2

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TITLE:  MINFAL FAILS TO FINALISE ACCORD WITH MONSANTO ON BT COTTON

SOURCE: Daily Times, Pakistan

AUTHOR: Ijaz Kakakhel

URL:    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008%5C12%5C05%5Cstory_5-12-2008_pg5_14

DATE:   05.12.2008

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MINFAL FAILS TO FINALISE ACCORD WITH MONSANTO ON BT COTTON

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MINFAL) was unable to finalise an agreement with Monsanto, American agriculture company providing biotechnology in agriculture, regarding the introduction of Bt cotton in the country.

However, the Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Nazar Muhammad Gondal on Thursday said that Pakistan would extend its co-operation with Monsanto in biotechnology to increase agricultural productivity.

He said this while chairing a meeting of steering committee on Bt cotton attended by the officials of Monsanto, which provided biotechnology in agriculture and were interested to introduce Bt cotton seeds in Pakistan and modern seed technologies to improve the yield of cotton crop in the country.

The minister said the present government was focusing on agriculture sector and the government was committed to strengthen economy through developing agriculture sector to which 70 percent of our population is attached. ?We cannot increase the agricultural productivity without investing in seed research and improved seed technology and for this purpose companies like Monsanto were doing a wonderful job in transferring technology to underdeveloped countries,? he said.

An official of the ministry told Daily Times that the Monsanto demanded $21 per acre as royalty for which an agreement was not finalised yet. The other issue with the Monsanto was that the government wanted to bring a new model to Pakistan and that the Indian model was not beneficial. The government insisted on Boll Gard II technology of Bt cotton from Monsanto and the government is not ready to give any royalty fee to Monsanto over per acre cotton crop. Monsanto directly marketed seeds for maize, sunflower and hybrid canola crops and the growers were purchasing it. He said that Monsanto had brought 20 varieties of Bt cotton but all these could not perform well in Pakistan. There was a dire need from the government to announce a National Biotech Policy, which would help in enhancing yields of crops particularly cotton, which is a cash crop of the country, he suggested.

He informed the meeting that cotton was one of the most important crops and there was a dire need to improve the quality and yield of cotton to strengthen agriculture as well as textile industry and exports.

The meeting formed a sub-committee to finalise the modalities of investment by Monsanto in providing best cottonseed technology to Pakistan and to settle royalty issues.


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