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Web Exclusive | July 2017

More R&D in cotton is need of the hour

Finding new applications and concentrating on functionalities of King Cotton are important. This was disclosed by Dr Kater Hake, Vice-President of Agricultural and Environmental Research at Cary, USA-based Cotton Incorporated while delivering the first Narendra C Sheth Memorial cotton lecture sponsored by C A Galiakotwala & Co Pvt Ltd, in Mumbai recently.

Addressing a large gathering of people from cotton and textile sector in Blue Sea, Worli, Dr Hake highlighted key innovations in the cotton sector from around the world. Staging his talk to emphasise the importance of continued R&D in the cotton industry to compete against synthetics, Hake mentioned how Cotton Incorporated works with researchers in 55 institutions to advance the industry.

His impressive talk focused on developments from Brazil such as zero tillage cotton farming, which has resulted in the yield of 1500 kg/hectare, data utilization by US farmers to increase agricultural efficiency, etc. Dr Hake advised that the agriculture sector should utilise advances from biomedical industry to enhance the yield such as Pocket Laboratory development from Africa.

Gene editing is a promising advancement, which would result in improving fibre quality according to Dr Hake. Hake said that finding new applications for cotton and focusing on the functionality of cotton at the fibre and application levels are important for the cotton sector.

(By: Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA)
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