Biotech Updates

Pakistan's ECC Approves LOI for Monsanto

May 9, 2008

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Pakistan cabinet has turned down the proposal of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MinFAL) to form a 5-member consultative committee for technical collaboration with seed compaany Monsanto that is being hired to introduce Bt cotton variety in Pakistan.

However, ECC approved the final draft of the Letter of Intent (LoI) for immediate hiring of Monsanto. MinFAL had proposed forming the consultative committee in the ECC meeting held in May 6, and also submitted the names for its members. The Law Division of Pakistan vetoed the draft and cleared it for ECC approval.

Monsanto will commercialize Bt cotton genes Bollgard and Mon 531 and other newly developed varieties in Pakistan. It will also evaluate, develop and implement practical solutions to expand cotton production. Potential collaboration in other crops such as corn, soybean and vegetables will be evaluated. Monsanto will provide information to create awareness about Bt cotton variety to all stakeholders.

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