STAFF REPORT LHR: The Seed Association of Pakistan (SAP) has appreciated the Punjab governments decision to scrap the deal with Monsanto regarding its proposed BT cotton model in Pakistan saying the company would have created its monopoly and in turn would have endangered the existence of the national seed sector.

“The national seed sector appreciates the need to introduce technology but in an open and fair way so that all seed companies operating in Pakistan can have an even playing field,” SAP President Shahzad Ali Malik said in a statement issued here.

Throughout the last three years, Monsanto has been demanding a per acre royalty fee for its technology but failed to demonstrate that its technology would significantly increase yields or be effective against Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCV) or mealy bugs which are the main crop pests in Pakistan.

“The government should concentrate on improving research and development institutes and create linkages with eminent foreign institutes which will allow our scientists to gain better understanding of the local crop pests and improve the technologies relating to agriculture.” Shahzad added.

He said that the farmers can increase yields by 2-3 million immediately if they are able to improve seed quality and develop a remedy for CLCV.

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