University of Agriculture Faisalabad has developed two high-yielding varieties of the sugarcane.

University of Agriculture Faisalabad has developed two high-yielding varieties of the sugarcane. New varieties Insect-resistant transgenic sugarcane (CABB-IRS) and Herbicide-tolerant transgenic sugarcane (CABB-HTS) got approved for field trials by the National Biosafety Committee (NBC) of Ministry of Climate Change, Islamabad after the recommendations of the IBC, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad and TAC, Pak-EPA, Islamabad. The varieties are developed by Dean Faculty of Agriculture Faisalabad Prof Dr Muhammad Sarwar and his team from the Centre of Agricultural Biochemistry and Biotechnology, UAF. UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan congratulated the team and hoped that it would prove a millstone for the sugarcane per acre increment. Sugarcane fulfils 70% of the world sugar needs and is also a prime potential source of bioethanol. Pakistan is the 5th top-most grower but 11th largest producer of sugarcane in the world. During 2021-2022 sugarcane production has increased to 88.65 million tones compared to 81.009 million tones of last year Average sugar recovery in our country is 10.6% as compared with Brazil and Sri Lanka where it is 16%. The average sugarcane production in the country is 45-50 tons/ha, which is very much low compared to the average yield worldwide which is around 60 metric tons/ha. Two serious yield limiting agents are weeds and insect pests. The most important insect-pests of sugarcane are top borer, stem borer, gurdaspur borer, root borer which may cause upto 50% yield losses. Cry proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis are being used worldwide to control lepidoptran insect pests. Due to canal irrigation, weed infestation is high which may cause 24-50% losses in crop production. Weeds can be effectively controlled by the use of non-selective herbicides i.e. Glyphosate and Glufosinate. Economic benefits of CABB-IRS & CABB HTS sugarcane include for the control of borers at least 3 applications of granular pesticides are recommended which costs Rs 3500-4000 per acre. It is equally good for the control of herbicides 3-4 sprays of selective herbicides are recommended which costs Rs. 4000-5000 per acre (Alternatively 2 sprays of glufosinate cost 3500 per acre so an additional cost of 1000 -1500 is there in case of non-transgenic crops. Weeds cause upto 25% where insects can cause upto 40% reduction in the yield. Engineered sugarcane has ability to minimize these losses.