New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) As a part of public-private sector partnership, an American agri-biotech multinational Monsanto today formally transferred free of royalty its virus-resistant Papaya Technology to Tamil Nadu Agriculture University(TNAU) for propogation of improved papaya varieties in the country.
An agreement to this effect was signed here between TNAU Vice Chancellor Dr C Ramasamy and Monsanto Chairman in India Sekhar Natrajan in the presence of Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Dr Clive James, Chairman and Founder, International Serive for Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA).
Since the mid-90s, Papaya Ring Spot Virus (PRSV) has become a major threat to the production of commercial papaya in India and these pests have singnificantly reduced papaya production besides spreading their attacks on certain species of cucurbits.
India produces around 250 lakh quintals of papaya annually. And papaya is cultivated by small and resource-poor farmers mainly in Maharashtra (largest producer) besides UP, Bihar, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, West Bengal, Orissa, Manipur and Meghalaya.
Mansanto's papaya Ring Spot Virus resistance technology can confer complete resistence to virus which has not been possible so far through conventional technology, said Mr Sekhar Natrajan.
''This proven technology has already been commericalised in the US and China and is being developed by several other nations around the world,'' he added.
Dr Ramasamy said the Mansanto resistant technology would be used for developing improve papaya varieties for better quality and good flavour with increased resistance that offers potential 75 lakh quintals or 25 per cent increased yield to India's papaya industry.