Agriculture research institute ICAR has initiated testing of 20 indigenously developed Bt cotton varieties to assess their suitability in domestic agro-climatic zones, Parliamentwas informed today.
“Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has initiated testing of 20 indigenously developed Bt cotton varieties during Kharif 2016 to identify suitability of the varieties in different agro-climatic zones and these lines will be further promoted through front line demonstrations,” Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Balyan said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
Balyan added that Central Institute for Cotton Research, Nagpur, University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad and National Botanical Research Institute at Lucknow are also involved in trying to develop genetically modified cotton seeds in the country.
The minister also informed the House that Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech (India) Ltd has collected more than Rs 2,791 crore as royalty in the four-year period from 2011-12 to 2014-15.
He added that a panel set up by the Agriculture Ministry had recommended a trait value of Rs 49 per 450 gram packet of BG-II Bt cotton seeds as against last year’s trait value of Rs 174.40 for northern India and Rs 163.28 for the rest of the country.