By admin       2016-09-07

Cotton production in the country is not satisfying the demand of textile industries as the local variety is highly susceptible to pests. The government has imported pest resistant cotton (BT cotton) to address domestic demand.Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry Forest and Climate Change Bio Safety Affairs Director Belete Geda said said growing BT cotton seed is a way out for a better yield and meet the ever growing demand of the textile sector.The nation also amended previous law, and the new one therefore, permits importing Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) as well as conducting research in the area. Following this, the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute (EARI) received license for experimenting transgenic cotton seed from the Ministry.According to Belete, the Institute is multiplying the seed in seven agro-ecological zones of the country. Following a field trial, it will be distributed to farmers and growers.Addis Ababa University Science Faculty Bio Technology Institute Instructor Dr .Tilye Feyessa said the utilization of BT cotton is rather late in the country.He said Asian countries have long and rich experience in applying such technology. In Africa, countries such as Burkina Faso, Sudan and South Africa have developed BT cotton and they are able to earn considerable income from export apart from satisfying local demands.He further suggested as field trials are crucial to mitigate potential negative impacts before the dissemination of the seed.According to Tilye, relying on imported seed would not be affordable in the long run for it exposes countries to suffer the outflow of hard currency. Thus, it is important to generate the cotton locally.Belete further explained that companies which produce transgenic seed have patent rights and the international convention stipulates importing countries should pay royalty to the owners.The government is actively working to earn one billion USD at the end of GTP II from the export of textile products.

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