Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Trials successful on growing Bt cotton
Trials successful on growing Bt cotton
Oct '09
According to statistics of the Cotton Development Organisation (CDO), pests, weeds and bollworms cause very high yield losses, sometimes as high as 80 percent, which discourages cotton farmers from growing the crop. But all that is set to change now.

In a move to counter the challenge, Uganda has started testing its first-ever genetically-modified cotton (GM cotton). The two-type GM cotton varieties-Herbicide Tolerant (Ht) Cotton and Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton- are being tasted by scientists at the National Semi-Arid Resource Research Institute (NaSARRI) at Serere in Soroti District.

The early indications are very good as these varieties are showing resistance to pests and herbicides. Thomas Areke, Director, NaSARRI says, Bt cotton has the ability to withstand bollworms and Ht cotton tolerates roundup chemicals sprayed to destroy weeds in confined fields trials.

Dr Areke informed a seminar on cotton that, the crops are vigorously growing and have flowered without any disease, pest or weed infestations and they are now trying to improve the crop using biotechnology to get varieties that would increase productivity and benefit farmers.

According to him the crop is environmentally friendly, as it reduces the spread of chemicals. The Bt cotton also produces a protein that paralyses the larvae of some harmful insect, including the cotton bollworm.

Bananas were the first crop to be genetically modified, followed by these trials on cotton.
The testing however comes at a time when genetically modified organisms (GMO) crops are facing criticism all over the world. Those opposing the technology claim the crops may have future side-effects to human beings.

60 per cent of cotton produced in the world is GM cotton and if this technology is being utilised elsewhere in the world, why we don't try it in Uganda?" ask, experts. They say the new technology would not deny farmers from applying indigenous knowledge currently used in growing cotton.

Mr Amos Mugisha, the Chairman of the Uganda Ginners and Cotton Exporters Association said once the two varieties are released for commercialization, they (varieties) would benefit small scale farmers. He said, more cotton would be produced to feed ginneries that are currently operating below capacity at 30 percent.

Cotton growing had declined due to conflicts in the sector, pests and diseases, unstable international market prices and drought. However, since most of Uganda's cotton is exported in its raw form, it currently contributes only 1.5 per cent to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

Must ReadView All

Apparel/Garments | On 26th Oct 2016

SGS develops 4C chemical management model for apparel

SGS, a leading inspection, auditing, certification, testing, and...

Textiles | On 26th Oct 2016

Platinum Equity acquires International Textile Group

International Textile Group (ITG) has been acquired by Platinum...

Textiles | On 26th Oct 2016

Whitehouse & URI Business Centre start RI textile network

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and the University of Rhode Island...

Interviews View All

Jurgen Gauger

‘Buying crowdsourced or creative designs are much more appealing to the...

Milind Khandwe
Hindoostan Innovation Centre

‘Modern technical textile is an indispensable tool for science and...

Siddharth Biyani
Mangalam Industries Pvt Ltd

‘The manufacturing sector is improving day-by-day, becoming better in...

Silke Brand-Kirsch
Schlegel und Partner

Silke Brand-Kirsch, executive partner of Schlegel und Partner, a leading...

Steve Cole
Xerium Technologies

Steve Cole of Xerium Technologies discusses the industry. Xerium is the...

Kai Poehler
Voith Paper GmbH & Co. KG

The glass mat industry is growing by five to eight per cent annually. Kai...

Tony Ward
Tony Ward

"You have to truly understand what your client wants, know her needs, what ...

Yash P. Kotak
Bombay Hemp Company

One of the directors of Bombay Hemp Company, Yash P. Kotak, speaks to...

Jay Ramrakhiani
Occasions Elegance Wear

It is believed that by early 19th century, Varanasi weavers had moved away ...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


Letter To Editor

(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies

October 2016

October 2016

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.


Browse Our Archives


Advanced Search