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IAEA Commends Pakistan For Using Nuclear Technology to Revive Its Cotton Industry

Morpheus

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IAEA Commends Pakistan For Using Nuclear Technology to Revive Its Cotton Industry

Posted 34 mins ago by Haroon Hayder



International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has praised the Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB) of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) for effectively using nuclear techniques to revive the textile industry in general and cotton crop in particular.


The acknowledgment of NIAB’s efforts by an international organization, which seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, in reinvigorating the low performing agriculture sector of the country is a ray of hope for the farmers across Pakistan.

According to the official statement issued by the IAEA’s Office of Public Information and Communication, heatwaves and rising temperatures resulting from climate change had decreased the cotton yield throughout Pakistan. However, by harnessing nuclear technology, NIAB introduced new cotton varieties that are more tolerant to these weather conditions.

NIAB-developed varieties now account for 40% of the country’s total cotton yield, a significant increase from 25% from two years ago and from non-existent yield in 2016.
Deputy Chief Scientist at NIAB, Manzoor Hussain, said:
Year-on-year variation in cotton yield due to climate change was not only negatively impacting the farming industry, but it was also straining the development of the entire cotton-based value chain in the region.
Agriculture is central to Pakistan’s economy, and cotton has a significant role in driving the economy of the country. Through the use of nuclear technology, NIAB has turned the cotton industry profitable.

Since 2016, NIAB has developed four cotton varieties and their demand is continuously increasing across the country.
Moreover, IAEA, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is also working with local industry experts to develop and introduce new varieties of cotton that are more resilient and better adapted to the new climate of Pakistan.
IAEA statement added that IAEA and FAO intend to transfer technology and hold capacity-building programs in Pakistan in the long-term.

Note that NIAB is one of the four agriculture centers working under PAEC in Pakistan. Collectively, so far, these centers have developed 115 varieties of different crops using nuclear techniques, 16 of which are cotton varieties.

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Morpheus

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Govt mulls subsidy to promote cotton sowing

By Monitoring Report







Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhr Imam has announced that the government would provide subsidy to cotton growers on seed, pesticide and fertilisers.

Speaking at a seminar on the impact of climate change on agriculture on Monday, Imam added that a minimum support price will also be announced to encourage the farming community to bring the maximum land under cotton production.

He said his ministry has worked on seed traceability, germination, production capacity, and seed purity to facilitate farmers’ recovery from the current seed shortage, and stressed the need to start value-addition of the country’s main crops, reminding that Pakistan is one of the few countries which have been affected by climate change. “Because of climatic change, seed technology and genetic engineering are of the utmost importance so as to adapt to the changing climate and water scarcity,” he added.

Moreover, the minister said that Pakistan has started working with China to promote agritech and genetic engineering by exchanging research information. “Applied research is vital to facilitate farmers pointing out that rain and precipitation promote pests and diseases among crops,” he said.

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Verve

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Why??

Cotton is even more water hungry than sugarcane
Revenue.

Cotton costs far more to import than sugar and there is a big shortfall in local supply. Also increased local production of cotton would lead to higher production and export revenue of final goods as this industry is taking off now.
 

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