Multan: On Tuesday, Saqib Ali Ateel (Agriculture Secretary, South Punjab) said that it is very vital for the scientists and agricultural universities to keep a significant consistency in successfully addressing the problems of decline in cotton production as climate change is effecting adversely.
In his visit to CCRI-Multan, Ateel said climate-optimized cotton varieties are needed to cope with the challenges of changing weather, rising temperatures, water scarcity, and CLCV (Cotton-Leaf Curl Virus).
He clearly said that the whitefly and pink bollworm are the cause major decline in cotton production, as they both are the biggest enemies of cotton nowadays. Over the past five years, the whitefly and pink bollworm remained a major factor behind the decline in cotton production.
He urged the researchers to speed-up research on whitefly and pink bollworm resistant varieties and proposed to include bio-pesticides in their research trials. He said that researchers should try to use pesticides as well in their trails which won’t harm the friendly-pests.
He announced the preparation of a new cotton calendar for on and off-season cotton crop management and activities. He claimed that in the future all the cotton programs will be according to the new cotton calendar.
The cotton genome has an excellent diversity to counter climatic changes.
Cotton in Pakistan
Pakistan is the fourth-largest cotton producer worldwide and, above all, In Asia, Pakistan has the third-largest spinning-capacity with thousands of ginning and spinning mills. An estimated 1.5 million small-holders make a living from cotton. With a share of 8.5% of GDP*, cotton is the most widespread crop in the country and an important raw-material for the growing textile industry.
Pakistan covers an area of over 880,000 square-kilometers and is part of the South-Asian sub-continent. It is bordered by India to the east, China to the north-east, and Afghanistan and Iran to the west. The country has a varied topography that contains perma-frost and alpines, temperates, tropicals and sub-tropicals, and coastal areas. The diversity of Pakistan extends to its climatic, socio-economic, and ecological characteristics, which vary considerably from region-to-region.