Country’s first ever Bt cotton variety Developed by PAU
Bt cotton technology cannot be doubted as it had been always a valuable option for cotton growers compared to any other crop in its introductory years. But it has been facing some major constraints as challenges throughout its period, which caused a declining trend in terms of yield and net returns for the farmers. But the coming years are expected to bring some new revolution in the field of Bt cotton, as the rising trend is again on the marks.
Development of Bt varieties resistant to sucking pests and whose seeds could be sown for the next coming season, were found to be important requirements for the comeback of Bt cotton cultivation in Punjab, which are seemed to be met soon, as Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has developed the first genetically-modified (Bt) cotton seeds that can be reused, resulting in saving of lot of input costs to Bt cotton growers.
The varieties are Identified as PAU Bt 1, F1861, RS 2013 by “Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi. “PAU Bt 1 and F 1861 were developed by PAU, whereas, RS 2013 was developed at Rajasthan Agricultural University (RAU), Bikaner. While the PAU Bt 1 was completely developed at Punjab Agricultural University, the F 1861 and RS 2013 varieties were converted to Bt version by Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR), Nagpur.
These new cotton varieties are great relief for the Punjab farmers suffering from the high input costs of cotton crop, provided the price of seeds of these varieties should be lower as compared to the other Bt cotton hybrid seeds in the market. This can help in rebuilding the faith of Punjab farmers in Bt cotton cultivation and raising their income and savings.