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Web Exclusive | April 2017

PAU develops reusable BT cotton seeds

Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has developed two varieties of BT cotton whose plant's seed can be used in the next season and has become the first agriculture institute to develop reusable seeds. Once the Genetic-Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) approves these seeds, these two varieties could be available to farmers by the 2018 cotton season.

"GEAC had given permission to Monsanto to commercially release hybrid Bollgard in 2002 and its patent had expired, so PAU felt the need to develop varieties, which would be out of the purview of patent," media reports quoted PAU board management member Satbir Singh Gosal as saying.

According to PAU, since a 450-gram packet of the hybrid BT cotton variety costs Rs 800 and a farmer uses two packets per acre, the farmer will save Rs 1,600 per acre.

"Tests have been conducted on these two varieties to evaluate quality and they have been found to be resistant to cotton leaf curl virus and are also anticipated to give yield equal to the current hybrid varieties," Gosal added.
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