Bt cotton GM Crops

CICR to Develop Varieties for Dry Vidarbha Using New Bt Event

Press release issued by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research upon Delhi University researchers passing on to it a Bt cotton event on Monday, 15 June, 2015 in Delhi.

The University of Delhi has developed a new Bt cotton event with high expression of the Bt gene and passed it on to the Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR), Nagpur, a constituent institute of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. The event showed a higher expression of the Bt toxin in Coker 310 cotton background as compared to the material in the field today and will be used by ICAR institutes and agricultural universities to introduce the Bt gene in varieties and hybrids developed by public-funded breeding programmes. This Bt gene event was developed in the laboratory of Prof  Deepak Pental and Prof P K Burma by research scientists Dr Amarjeet Singh and Dr Kumar Paritosh in the Department of Genetics of University of Delhi with funding from the Department of Biotechnology. It took eight years to develop the event. The public breeding system over the yeas has developed productive lines and hybrids that are adapted to dryland-low input conditions. The Director General, ICAR, has exhorted CICR to use the event for diversification and development of drought-tolerant varieties with boll worm tolerance so as to help farmers in dry land areas in boosting cotton productivity and production. Furthermore, the use of new Bt cotton varieties under high density planting system developed by CICR shall help in lowering cost of cultivation and in turn profitability for the farmers of the country, particularly Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. An MoU was signed between ICAR-CICR and Delhi University on June 15, 2015 to facilitate transfer of the Bt cotton event so that the institute can transfer the gene in elite cultivars of cotton.

(For an article published in the Indian Express on 9 July, 2015 click here)

(Pictured here: Cotton plants with the above Bt gene in  a Delhi University growth chamber.  Photo by Vivian Fernandes on 15 June, 2015).

 

Email This Page

Leave a Comment


Hit Counter provided by technology news
Web Design MymensinghPremium WordPress ThemesWeb Development

I Do Not Understand Bt Cotton technology; I Know It Works

Kallanagouda PatilY Kallanagouda Patil, 46, of Uppinbetegeri village in Dharwad taluk  owns 52 acres jointly with his three brothers. He holds a diploma in agriculture from a school in Raichur. Patil grows cotton on ten acres, apart from sugarcane, potato, Bengal gram, jowar, tur,moong and vegetables. He uses groundwater to irrigate his fields. The water is drawn from a depth of 280 feet. Electricity is free so he flood irrigates the fields, except the one under banana  where he uses drip irrigation. He does not micro-irrigate cotton because it is closely planted and has to make way for another crop after eight months. This farmer has his cost all worked out. Making quick mental calculations, he estimates the cost of cotton crop at Rs 22,500 an acre and the realization from 17 quintals an acre at Rs 68,000. He had planted Bayer seed. ‘I do not understand technology, he says, all I know is if I use Bt seed there will be no

Pests Snack on Chilly But Not Cotton

RudagiF Basavaraj Rudagi, 48, did not grow cotton before 2008. This farmer from Saundhi village in Dharwad district’s Kundogol taluk made a partial switch to Bt cotton as chilly was susceptible to pest attack and yield was declining. From five acres in 2009, Rudagi had fifteen of a forty acre joint farm under cotton this year, when smartindianagriculture  caught up with him in February. He tried out Bayer in a change from Mahyco and Raasi seed. Rudagi says he got 11.5 quintals (100 kg) an acre from his rain-fed crop and at Rs 4,050 a quintal, his realization was a little over Rs 46,000. The cost, he says, is Rs 26,000 an acre, excluding rental earnings had he leased out the land. This does not mesh with the profit he claims he makes, but then he admits to not keeping crop-wise accounts. Rudagi also grows peanuts, coriander, gram, safflower and jowar. There is safety in diversity. And yes he plants pigeon pea or tur around the cotton crop for bollworms to feed on so they are not forced by the survival instinct to develop resistance to Bt protein.  In this sense he is quite a cut apart. Low cotton prices are worrying but what is the alternative?