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The Economic Times

PAU inks pact with Gujarat state seed corporation

NEW DELHI: Aiming at developing and commercializing cotton transgenic hybrids, the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) entered into a strategic partnership with Gujarat State Seed Corporation (GSSC) through the signing of memorandum of understanding during Global Agriculture Summit of Vibrant Gujarat 2013, held at Gandhi Nagar.

Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said that the major motive of entering into an agreement with GSSC is the introgression of BG-II genes-event Mon 15985 to the parental lines of PAU cotton hybrids. Besides, the PAU has also signed a material transfer agreement with Assam Agricultural University (AAU), Jorhat for the development of chickpea transgenic, informed Dr Dhillon. Under this pact, the AAU will supply seeds of two transgenic lines, BS100B and BS100E carrying Cry1Ac gene for evaluation against helicoverpa resistance and introgression breeding, he added.

Tracing the history, Dr Dhillon divulged that during 1960-61, the area under cotton in Punjab was 4.46 lakh hectare and the production was 7.05 lakh bales with productivity of 269kg lint/hectare. With the advent of production and protection technologies, the productivity started improving and it touched 607kg lint/hectare, in 1991-92.

One year after the recommendation of Bt cotton in Punjab, ever highest productivity of 750kg lint per hectare was realized in 2006-07, he said, revealing that the productivity of cotton in Punjab in 2011-12 was 535kg lint per hectare from 5.15 lakh hecrtare area, and the total production was 16.21 lakh bales.

Currently, more than 90 %of the cotton area is under Bt cotton, he told. Pointing out that the exorbitant price of the seed of Bt cotton hybrid is adding to the cost of production, Dr Dhillon observed that the situation will further aggravate with the supply of spurious seed in the market.
The PAU vice chancellor had met U.D. Singh, MD, GSSC, and held personal discussion on collaboration between PAU and GSSC for the development and commercialization of cotton transgenic hybrids. Consequently, the seeds of parental lines of one cotton hybrid were supplied to GSSC.
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