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Indian team grows brown cotton to suit textile mills' need

Jan '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
A team of four researchers at the BM College of Agriculture in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, have developed four shades of brown cotton grown through the conventional method by mixing different wild varieties of cotton collected from across the country. They are now working on making it commercially viable by means of increased yield, strength and better size.

Traditionally, white cotton is used but there are coloured varieties that are not cultivated by farmers as their yield less and have poor fibre strength and length. The team is working on enhancing the characteristics of the coloured variety so that they can be commercially used, Devendra Kumar Shrivastava, plant breeder of the project, told an English-language daily.

The college had developed a variety of dark brown cotton known as JCC1 around five years ago, but it is not in use due to poor yields and short fibre length, making it unacceptable by textile mills.

The fibre length of coloured cotton is around 26 mm while textile mills demand at least 28-30 mm. Poor yields and chances of contamination with white cotton makes it unviable for farmers, Shrivastava said.

The latest coloured variety of cotton developed by the college has yielded 8 to 14 quintals per hectare while the fibre length has grown to 28-32 mm.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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