A Bt cotton variety developed by the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is ready for trials. It took the university ten years to develop the variety with resistance against bollworm and it hopes to get better results than the prevailing Bt varieties.
The new genetically modified variety, PAU Bt 1, will go for trials over 3,000 acres in the current kharif season and the university has started distributing seed packets of 400gm each free of cost, asking cotton growers to sow it over one kanal (one-eighth of an acre).
“I am very positive about our variety and hope it would give best results. Besides, it being resistant to common pest, the farmers don’t have to buy the seeds every season. They could select good plants for producing seeds for the next season. It’s economically beneficial for farmers,” said PAU vice-chancellor BS Dhillon.
The new variety is considered a landmark achievement of the PAU, which has been criticised by the farmers and farm unions for allegedly not undertaking research for newer varieties.
“It’s an achievement for PAU, especially being a public sector body,” said Dhillon. The commonly used varieties in the past were developed by multinational companies.
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