ISLAMABAD: Federal Seed Certification Registration Department is ensuring availability of quality cotton seed and has so far certified 17,791.25 MT seed to enhance production.  This certification was 44.48 per cent of total seed requirement of around 40,000 MT cotton seed. Sources at Ministry of Textile Industry on Sunday said during previous cotton crop season (Kharif 2013) almost 87 per cent of the cotton crop area was under Bt. Cotton.

Since, the National Bio-safety Committee (NBC), had not cleared newly developed Bt. Cotton varieties, therefore, the seed of these varieties could not be certified, the sources said and added as a result, certified seed was not available. In addition, they said National Bio-safety Committee (NBC), Ministry of Climate Change, Islamabad also cleared 28 Bt varieties of cotton seed for commercialization. Federal Seed Certification Registration Department has also made its Seed Inspectors vigilant to check sale of uncertified Bt. Cotton Seed and currently, 50 challans of different seed dealers selling fake/substandard cotton seed have been submitted in court of law.  The sources said monitoring of seed markets will be kept vigilant till completion of cotton sowing season.–APP