MULTAN - Cotton scientists from across Pakistan assembled here Monday for a three-day marathon meeting to discuss results from research projects carried out last year and finalize a cotton research strategy for year 2014-15.Cotton Commissioner Dr Khalid Abdullah, who is also vice-president of PCCC, chaired the opening session of the meeting at CCRI Multan and said that national research bodies and the private sector should work together to increase cotton production and develop technologies to counter cotton-related problems. The government is utilizing all possible resources and facilitating agriculture scientists to help farmers’ access to modern technology easy and increase cotton production, he said.

Agriculture scientists from research institutes working under PCCC and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and provincial governments would present their reports on experiments conducted last year and their results. The three-day meeting will finalize a cotton research programme for year 2014-15 in the light of last year’s reports, says a release issued by CCRI Multan.

Dr Khalid Abdullah acknowledged the contribution of PCCC and all other research bodies in developing new cotton varieties.  He urged scientists to introduce varieties that consume low water and other inputs, give high performance in given conditions and also meet standards and requirements of the textile sector.  The meeting will also discuss issues of land preparation, suitable application of water and fertiliser, control of diseases and pests including mealy bug, dusky bug, red cotton strainer, other cotton diseases including cotton leaf curl virus (CLCV), development of new cotton varieties and troubles confronting cotton production and their possible solutions.  Director Research PCCC and director CCRI Sakrand Dr.  Muhammad Ali Kalroo, Director CCRI Multan Syed Sajid Masud Shah, director marketing and economic research PCCC Dr. Muhammad Ali Talpur, former PCCC vice president Muhammad Arshad, cotton experts Muniruddin Khan, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Bandesha, Khawaja Muhammad Shoaib, besides experts and representatives from PAEC, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council, Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology, Centre of Excellence for Molecular Biology, Nuclear Institute of Agriculture Tando Jam, Seed Corporations of Punjab and Sindh, National Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, research bodies from all the four provinces, progressive growers and All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) attended the meeting.