Vietnam and China have pledged to expand cooperation in cotton growing in the future after the first meeting on high-tech cotton development held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 13 and 14 by the Vietnam Cotton Company and the Cotton Research Institute of China, Asia Pulse reported today.

The co-operation will cover transfer of genes for the creation of high-yield and worm-resistant strains, intensive farming techniques and consultancy.

The programme will help Vietnam's cotton sector expand cotton plantations with an average yield of two tonnes of seed cotton per ha, meeting 70 per cent of the textile industry's demand for raw material.

Vietnam now has nearly 30,000 ha of cotton, producing 12,000 tonnes of seed cotton. The country plans to expand its cotton growing area to 150,000 ha by 2010.