Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Activities, News | 0 comments







June 12, 2015

The Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) plans to revive local production of cotton through the use of genetically modified varieties.Through BT cotton, local production output of the crop is expected to skyrocket by 2020 and potentially set up export to Southeast Asian countries, said PhilFIDA officer-in-charge deputy executive director Petronilo Jabay.BT cotton production output in five years could reach an estimated 66,000 metric tons (MT).The agency yesterday released its five-year roadmap in support of local production of Philippine Fiber Crafts, which includes the cotton industry.“The production of BT cotton can potentially revive the country’s cotton industry,” said PhilFIDA officer-in-charge executive director Clarito Barron.The agency wants to increase the land area used for cotton planting to more than 22,000 hectares by the end of the five-year period.

Production of BT corn currently stands at 120 MT with an estimated land area of only about 40 hectares.

BT cotton is a modified variety which produces toxins that naturally protects it against some insects and pests without the use of pesticides.

The commercialization of this variety to the local farmers is set to be rolled out by September or October, Barron said

Aside from increased production, it will also help improve revenue-flows to the local cotton farmers who rely on traditional cotton seeds susceptible to pests and insects.

Around P5 million has been allocated by the Department of Agriculture to support multi-location field testing of BT cotton in the country.

Photo credit: Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA)

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