The Agency has recently concluded the multi-locational field trials of Bt-cotton in Luzon and Mindanao and results of the trials are promising as regards to the revitalization of the cotton industry in the country. The Bt-cotton could yield 3 tons per hectare compared to the 1- 2 tons with the present local commercial varieties.
With the conclusion of the multi-locational trial, the Agency will apply for its commercialization with the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI). The agency expects to get its approval in October/November this year and proceed with its techno-demonstration with the cotton producers in Ilocos, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Saranggani and South Cotabato involving 40 1-hectare cotton farms. The PhilFIDA Reseach Division has arranged with the technology developer from India to provide Bt-cotton seeds for these 40 techno-demo farms for free. The techno-demo project would require a total budget of P4 Million.
The commercial propagation of Bt cotton will be undertaken together with the promotion of the production of heirloom cotton and the implementation of organic cotton production technology. These developments will trigger the revival of the Philippine Cotton Industry.
Bt cotton is an insect-resistant transgenic crop designed to combat cotton bollworm. This crop requires low level of pesticide to be sprayed on it resulting to more environmental benefits. Bt cotton targets to address the issues with pests while increasing yields and delivering higher profits for farmers.