The GM cotton seed is expected to contribute significantly to the countrys economy and drive down costs for farmers

The GM cotton seed is expected to contribute significantly to the country's economy and drive down costs for farmers

Punjab University has committed to providing a disease, insect and drought-resistant cotton seed to farmers in Pakistan in order to boost the country's economy and save poor farmers PKR20,000 (US$189) per acre.

The university signed a memorandum of understanding with seven companies for the provision of the seed it said will bring "revolution in the cotton industry."

The BT cotton seed invented by PU scientists is expected to contribute more than US$4bn to the country's economy and is forecast to start giving results in two years. 

The genetically-modified cotton seed is weedicide resistant and is reusable. It is expected to be used across 8m acres of land, giving a saving of PKR144bn to the collective farming industry.

The BT cotton seed varieties will be commercialised through marketing companies for use in the Pakistani agriculture sector. Funds will be reinvested into the university for it to carry out further research into projects such as this.

At the signing, the representatives of seed marketing companies congratulated PU scientists and said their invention will play a "pivotal role" in strengthening the country's economy, developing the cotton sector and improving farmers' socio-economic conditions.