ISLAMABAD (APP) - The Ministry of Food and Agriculture here Saturday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Monsanto Company USA for introducing Bt Cotton and hybrid seed technology for the development of agriculture sector. The company would provide Bollgard-II, Roundup Ready FLEX and other technologies to enhance cotton production in the country. Secretary MinFA, Zia ur Rahman and Representative of the company, Rick Gaudet inked the agreement on behalf of their respective sides. The Minster for Food and Agriculture Nazar Muhammad Gondal and other senior officials of the ministry and Monsanto were presented on the occasion. Talking to mediamen, Nazar Gondal said that the agreement would help develop agriculture sector by boosting per acre crop productivity. By implementing modern technologies, per acre yield production could be enhanced from 30 to 40 kg, he added. This MoU provides a framework to continue discussions focused on introducing Monsantos advance Bollgard-II technology (Bt Cotton) in Pakistan. It also provides a comprehensive framework for collaboration with Monsanto for Bt Cotton technology transfer including Bollgard- II, Roundup Ready FLEX, other technologies developed for crops such as corn and pipeline products yet to be released. For the past several years, Pakistan has been a net importer in excess of 2m bales due to an acute shortage in cotton production. Pakistan needs to bulk up its cotton production, he added. The use of biotechnology in agriculture is an important tool that can help increase the productivity of agriculture in the country, he added. Worldwide, he said about 13 million farmers in 25 countries are already reaping the benefits of this biotechnology. He informed that Monsanto is currently working with the industry and government stakeholders in Pakistan on a sustainable business model for the introduction of Bt Cotton. Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology- based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto Pakistan has been associated with Pakistan farmers since 1998 and is already doing business in a range of superior products like hybrid corn and Roundup herbicide. Bollgard-II technology is undoubtedly the most extensively studied cotton technology globally. The rigorous scientific studies conducted demonstrate that Bollgard and its products are safe for the environment, human beings, animals and agriculture. He was of the view that Bollgard-II technology will bring significant benefits for the cotton farmers in terms of contributing towards increasing yields and farm income in the country.