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New cotton strain to raise output by 25%
By Zhao Huanxin (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-09-19 05:48

Compared with his "hybrid rice" which promises to increase grain output by up to 20 per cent, Yuan said Guo's hybrid cotton is well on course to increase output by 30 per cent in the years to come.

The senior scientist urged the ministries of agriculture, science and technology as well as the National Development and Reform Commission to shore up investment and spread the technology nationwide to benefit farmers.

On the potential environmental side-effects of genetically engineered crops, Luo Bin, an official with the Ministry of Agriculture, said only genetically modified strains assessed as safe are granted certificates for commercialization.

However, monitoring should continue after a new crop is certified and spread to large areas of land, he said.

Vice-Minister Fan said his ministry will work to translate the "encouraging technology" into productivity as soon as possible.

He noted domestic demand for cotton has been on the rise in recent years, while imports keep flooding in.

Last year, market demand for cotton grew by 1.5 million tons, hitting 8.75 million tons. Imports surged to a record 1.98 million tons, he said.

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