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Crop Biotech Update

Indian Universities Develop Bt Cotton Varieties with Reusable Seeds

March 15, 2017

Scientists at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in India has developed genetically engineered Bt cotton seeds that can be reused, thus saving farmers' input costs. These cotton varieties are PAU Bt 1 and F1861. Rajasthan Agricultural University also developed RS 2013. The F1861 and RS 2013 varieties were transformed into Bt version by Central Institute of Cotton Research.

"The notification for these varieties could be out as early as next month after ICAR's scheduled meeting," said Dr. Baldev Singh Dhillion, Vice Chancellor of PAU . He said that the Indian Council of Agricultural Research has asked the university to put up proposal regarding the release of these varieties.

Dr. Dhillon also said that the process for multiplying the seeds would begin this year. "We are expecting that by next year we will be able to distribute seeds to farmers for sowing in fields. Surely, by 2019, we will distribute seeds on large scale," he said. The prices of these new Bt cotton seeds are expected to be much lower than the prevailing prices of Bt cotton hybrids.

Read more from India's General Knowledge Today and The Economic Times.