Hyderabad-based JK Agri Genetics Ltd, an arm of the JK Organisation, is collaborating with the Bangladesh authorities to carry field trials of genetically-modified cotton within the neighbouring nation.
“The Bangladesh authorities is conducting the field trials, which have been accomplished for the primary season. The outcomes are good. Field trials will probably be held for the second season this yr someday between April and November,” stated Gyanendra Shukla, President and Director of JK Agri Genetics, higher popularly often known as JK Seeds.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), in a notice on the Bangladesh improvement, stated that Dhaka’s Cotton Development Board (CDB) started trials of the genetically-modified or bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton with two varieties — JKCH 1947 Bt and JKCH 1950 Bt — which might resist bollworm and Fall armyworm within the plant.
According to the USDA, the CDB obtained the Bt cotton varieties beneath the fabric switch settlement from JK Seeds, an erstwhile division of JK Tyres and Industries Ltd.
“Though the primary season trials gave good outcomes, extra trials should be achieved. Once the Bangladesh authorities is happy with the outcomes, it should start the deregulation course of whereby farmers will probably be allowed to domesticate the Bt selection,” stated Shukla. The CDB accomplished the greenhouse trial of the cotton varieties efficiently on March 4 final yr, and it obtained the permission of Bangladesh’s National Committee on Biosafety Clearance to begin confined field trials for the present crop yr (August 2020-July 2021), the USDA stated.
“We are doing nothing on our personal. Nor are we engaged in any business exercise in Bangladesh,” the JK Seeds President stated, hinting that the Sheikh Hasina Wajed authorities is independently dealing with these actions, whereas his firm is collaborating.
Bangladesh’s goal behind these trials is to develop “environment friendly genetically-modified cotton” as a part of its efforts to extend cotton manufacturing. Currently, it meets about 25 per cent of its uncooked cotton necessities by imports from India.
The USDA has pegged Bangladesh’s 2020-21 crop at 1.86 lakh bales (of 170 kg) on 46,000 hectares.