Pakistan to allow Bt cotton farming from next year, PM says (7/12/2005)

The US now seems to have both India and Pakistan as client states - something it has never managed simultaneously before.

The Indian Prime Minister in a speech in Washington back in the summer spoke of how he and President Bush were going to launch a second green revolution. This came in the context of a US deal to support India's nuclear and biotech programmes.

Almost simultaneously came an "India - Pakistan - US science academies collaborative research programme on agricultural biotechnology".

As we remarked at the time, clearly the sub-continent's political leadership had succumbed big time to the bad idea virus - the dream that biotech is going to be an economic saviour, or as an article from Pakistan put it, "Biotechnology… is expected to surpass Information Technology as the new engine of the global economy; it is expected to alter healthcare, agriculture, commercial and industrial products." The reality to date, of course, is that biotech has proven a massive money-losing niche industry with, in the case of GMOs, low-to-no consumer acceptance!

Pakistan now appears to be launching itself lemming like down the same disastrous Bt cotton path that India has already taken.

This despite the recent admission from the Indian government of the failure fo Bt cotton in some parts of the country. (A disaster called Bt cotton - The Times of India)

And that's quite apart from the warning from Indian government scientists at India's premier cotton institute warned that Bt cotton is a potential agricultural time bomb. Their predictions showed Bt-resistance was likely to set in within 3-4 years in India and that Bt-cotton crop failures could begin in some parts of India within the next couple of years. (Indian Bt gene monoculture, potential time bomb)

Crop failures with Bt cotton are, of course, hardly something new!

Govt to allow BT cotton farming from next year: Shaukat

MULTAN: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has said government would allow the farmers to grow BT variety of cotton crop from next year.

Talking to a delegation of a delegation of farmers here on Monday, Shaukat Aziz assured them that government would ensure protection of farmers' interests.

He said government wants to establish Mango City in Multan that would increase production and its export. He further said several other steps for progress of agro-based industry were also under consideration.

Prime Minister announced incentives for promotion of hotel industry. He said government giving spending Rs. 60 billion on the subsidy for petroleum products.

He told that international community pledged $ 6.20 billion in the donor's conference of which 60 percent amount was loan and remaining 40 percent aid.

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