2 New UAF Sugarcane Varieties Approved For Commercialisation

2 new UAF sugarcane varieties approved for commercialisation

FAISALABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 14th Jun, 2024) Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of Pakistan, working under the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), has approved and recommended for commercialisation of two high-yielding and potential varieties of genetically modified sugarcane crop including Insect-resistant transgenic sugarcane (CABB-IRS) and herbicide-tolerant transgenic sugarcane (CABB-HTS), developed by the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF).

A UAF spokesman said on Friday that the TAC approved the varieties and recommended their commercialisation at its 34th meeting. TAC Chairperson Dr Farzana Altaf Shah and UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan congratulated Pro-Vice Chancellor/Dean Agriculture UAF Prof Dr Muhammad Sarwar Khan and his team for developing the varieties.

These sugarcane varieties are carrying superior traits like input-responsiveness, early maturing (suitable for plantation even after wheat in the months of April and May), top borer-resistance, herbicide-tolerance and high-number of tillers, spokesman added.

Meanwhile, UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan hoped that these varieties would pave way for increase in per acre yield of sugarcane.

He said that UAF had produced 50 new varieties of different crops, fruits and vegetables for the last three years which would increase the agri productivity. Only soybean would help the country to save the $ 1.5 billion spent on the import of edible oil.

It is worth mentioning that first GM borer-resistant sugarcane variety was approved for commercial cultivation in Brazil and it is saving 1.52 billion US Dollars annually since it has coveted 15% area under its cultivation. UAF varieties with superior traits are second in the world, and first in Pakistan, which are approved for commercial cultivation across the country, he added.

Prof Dr Muhammad Sarwar Khan said that the average sugarcane production in the country is 45-50 tons/ha, which is very low as compared to the average yield worldwide which is around 60 metric tons/ha. The new GM varieties would help boost up the productivity manifolds, he added.