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ANGRAU all set to develop Bt cotton: researcher

Staff Reporter

Negotiations with private players in advanced stage, he says


Paddy varieties developed by ANGRAU widely cultivated in the country

Cotton growers urge scientists to develop a hybrid extra long staple length cotton


ONGOLE: With farmers pressing for the development of the popular Bt Cotton, Acharya N. G. Ranga University is all set to commence research on developing its own genetically-modified cotton seed on a public-private partnership model.

ANGRAU Director of Research R. Sudhakara Rao, who was here in connection with the Zonal Research and Extension Advisory Council meeting, told reporters “We are in advanced stage of negotiation with private players. We have arranged for suitable land to hold field trials for Bt 1 and Bt 2 varieties.''

With five crops-- paddy, cotton, maize, groundnut, and redgram-- accounting for 75 to 80 per cent of the crops cultivated in 80 to 85 lakh hectares in the state, scientist's research efforts would be concentrated on providing the peasants with newer varieties resistant to pests and capable of giving more yields.

Highlighting the ANGRAU's strength in paddy research, he said hybrid varieties developed by ANGRAU accounted for 25 per cent of Paddy cultivated in the country.

On the concluding day of the zonal meeting, farmers urged the scientists to come out with Bt cotton varieties of its own for their benefit, Dr R Ankaiah, ADR, Research, Regional Agriculture Research Station, LAM said.

The cotton growers also urged the scientists to a hybrid variety to produce extra long staple length cotton, he said.

The peasants pleaded with the scientists and agriculture department officials to evolve refinement of agro-techniques for Bt cotton, besides developing integrated pest management practices to tackle sucking pests.

Referring to paddy, the farmers wanted the scientists to develop integrated nutrients management in different farming situations in Krishna zone and use of bio-fertilisers in paddy.

With regard to Groundnut crop, the ryots urged scientists to help them in managing stem rot disease and educate them on application of gypsum.

The peasants also pressed for developing redgram and blackgram varieties which could withstand excess rainfall and resist yellow mosaic virus.

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