Mumbai, May 5 (UNI) The genetic engineering and approval committee under the aegis of union ministry of environment and forests has granted regulatory clearance to sixteen new bollgard hybrids in north and central India allowing farmers across these regions to access a total of 36 bollgard cotton hybrids in the 2006 planting season.
Regulatory approval is given to seven new seed companies (Ganga Kaveri, Ajeet, Tulasi,Vikram, Vikki Agrotech, Emergent Genetics and Parvardhan) this year along with the existing four seed companies (Mahyco, Nuziveedu, Ankur and Rasi). These companies are sub licencees of Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India) Ltd (MMB) and have followed rigorous and large-scale field trials conducted in accordance with GEAC guidelines. With this increase, the number of Bollgard hybrids available in the north and central zone has risen to 12 and 22 from 6 and 12 respectively.
From the time Bollgard was launched in India in 2002, it has been planted by over a million farmers across 3.1 million acres in nine cotton growing states. The 2005 IMRB survey estimates show that there has been a 64 per cent or 6.4 quintals per acre increase in Bollgard yiekds, when compared with conventional cotton. The net profit increase for farmers using Bollgard is Rs 6,727 per acre over 118 per cent. Another key finding is the reduction of an average 2.4 pesticide sprays against bollworm that translates to a 25 percent reduction in total pesticides spend. These figures are testament to the continuing success and acceptance of the technology in India.
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