Why is government and public sector research promoting American varieties and their hybrids even after independence?
There was a shortage of cotton after partition, as large cotton-growing areas were in Pakistan. Self-sufficiency was narrowly defined as self-sufficiency of long staple cotton and all research work has been directed on this basis. Since the government does not support indigenous research trends, researchers continue to follow international trends, which is not beneficial for the country. Industry pressure dictates the direction of research much more in cotton than other crops and industry norms have been narrowly reduced to the norms of mills. The research needs of the handloom sector have often been ignored and even to this day, insufficiently understood.
What should be our research approach for desi cotton variety development?
The fact that our cotton is unique and can be grown organically is one way forward. Tree cotton can be grown in wastelands and the crop can be made much less vulnerable.