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Testing of a high-yield groundnut suitable for genetic modification will start during the coming monsoon season, scientists have announced. A preliminary test on a 200-square-foot lot at Magwe University was completed in January under a project proposed by the Ministry of Education.
U Kyaw Min Naing, associate professor of the Magwe University botany department, told The Myanmar Times that the January test had included genetically altered groundnuts with normal groundnut crops so that the yield rate and resistance to disease could be compared.
“. . . .We have found that the genetically modified crops have a higher resistance and higher yield, and that they can also be cultivated on salty land. . . . ” he said.
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Success in developing GM groundnuts could persuade farmers to switch their choice of crop and could also help reduce reliance on imports, he said.
“. . . . If the GM groundnuts are found to be strong and stable after testing for three seasons, farmers won’t need to buy seeds, as they will be able to take them from the harvest,” said Ko Aung Kyaw Kyaw.
U Kyaw Min Naing said he did not want to profit from selling the seeds. “I’m not out to make a profit, I’m just a researcher and a teacher. My main concern is helping the farmers.”
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