Ahsan Abdullah
Foundation University Islamabad, Pakistan

Although commercial cultivation of Bt cotton was not officially allowed in Pakistan until very recently, the area under Bt cultivation has increased every year, and during the 2009/2010 cotton season it stood at around 70% of all cropland. This trend has raised many interesting questions, and this article attempts to answer some of these questions using the pest-scouting data of 3,000+ cotton farmers collected during the 2005/2006 season. We used the Agriculture Decision Support System to process and analyze the primary raw data. This article shows the relationship between Bt and non-Bt cotton cultivation with reference to (1) farm size, (2) pest and pesticide groups, (3) predators and pesticide sprays, (4) sucking pests, and (5) chewing pests. Results show that small landowners are mainly attracted by Bt cotton and that the bollworm complex (except the spotted bollworm) had a low incidence on Bt cotton; this was not true for sucking pests, especially the newly emerged mealybug pest. However, the growth regulator was found to control jassid and whitefly on Bt cotton.

Key words: Bt cotton, mealybug, Pakistan, pest, pesticide, predator, Agriculture Decision Support System (ADSS), agriculture data warehouse.