—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: US and Pakistani cotton scientists have decided to develop new strategies to fight the Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCV), a devastating disease which affects cotton yields.

CLCV caused the loss of an estimated 1.5 million bales or 15pc of this year’s total harvest. A high-level delegation of American cotton scientists recently concluded a visit to Pakistan to review the progress on tackling the disease. The visit of US scientists was part of a multi-year collaboration with Pakistani scientists to develop cotton seed resistant to CLCV.

This cooperation between US and Pakistani scientists on cotton is a prime example of the work the United States does to enhance the productivity of Pakistan’s agricultural sector, especially for small farmers, according to the US embassy in Islamabad.

The team of US Department of Agriculture, led by Dr Brian Scheffler, lead scientist of the US Department of Agriculture in the Cotton Productivity Enhancement Programme (CPEP), visited laboratories in Lahore and Faisalabad and observed experimental disease-resistant cotton breeds grown in greenhouses provided by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The embassy said in a press release that the US team was impressed with the progress that Pakistani counterparts at the National Agriculture Research Institute, the University of Punjab Institute of Agricultural Sciences, the Central Cotton Institute in Multan and Sakarand and others had made.

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