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India's JK Agri Genetics working with Bangladesh for GM cotton trials

Mar '21
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
Hyderabad-based JK Agri Genetics Ltd, an arm of the JK Organisation, is collaborating with the Bangladesh government to hold field trials of genetically-modified (GM) cotton there. The field trials have been completed for the first season and the results are good. Such trials will be held for the second season this year between April and November, according to JK Agri Genetics (JK Seeds) president and director Gyanendra Shukla.

Bangladesh’s Cotton Development Board (CDB) began trials of the genetically-modified Bt cotton with two varieties—JKCH 1947 Bt and JKCH 1950 Bt—which can resist bollworm and fall armyworm.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, the CDB obtained the cotton varieties under the material transfer agreement from JK Seeds, an erstwhile division of JK Tyres and Industries Ltd.

"Though the first season trials gave good results, more trials need to be done. Once the Bangladesh government is satisfied with the results, it will begin the deregulation process wherein farmers will be allowed to cultivate the Bt variety," Shukla told a leading business daily from south India.

The CDB completed the greenhouse trial of the cotton varieties successfully on March 4 last year, and it got the permission of Bangladesh's National Committee on Biosafety Clearance to start confined field trials for the current crop year (August 2020-July 2021), USDA said.

Currently, Bangladesh meets about 25 per cent of its raw cotton requirements through imports from India. USDA has pegged Bangladesh's 2020-21 crop at 1.86 lakh bales (of 170 kg) on 46,000 hectares.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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