HomeNewsDiplomatic NewsUSDA and ICARDA Combat the Cotton Leaf Curl Virus

USDA and ICARDA Combat the Cotton Leaf Curl Virus


Islamabad: July 19, 2021 – (TDI):  The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) of Pakistan, celebrated ten years of the Cotton Productivity Enhancement Program (CPEP), on July 13, 2021. CPEP is a project that led to many discoveries and acquisitions, has increased the cotton production and agricultural trade of Pakistan. In this celebratory ceremony, the contributions and efforts of 60+ partners were appreciated and the end of this project was noted. Funding from USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) assisted in the implementation of this mutual project of USDA and ICARDA.

By the mid-1990s, the cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV) has negatively impacted the significant cotton production of Pakistan. To counter this problem, a laboratory diagnostic test and mechanism of monitoring its spread was created by CPEP. In the growing season, several farmer field schools were established in small-scale farmer villages, for their training about the management practices that can yield the best results. CLCuV-resistant cotton seeds were also developed by researchers.

The USDA lead scientist for this project, Dr. Jodi Scheffler stated: “With the support of key scientific organizations such as ICARDA and the National Institute for Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering, the project has enabled the sharing of scientific knowledge between the United States and Pakistan, strengthened the livelihoods of smallholder cotton producers in Pakistan, and will protect the U.S. cotton crop against potential outbreaks of CLCuV.”

Due to the efforts of the team working in CPEP, CLCuV-resistant cotton seeds have been made accessible to Pakistani farmers, with the promise of several more kinds of CLCuV-resistant seeds to be accessible after government approval.




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