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JK Agri Genetics collaborates with Bangladesh to hold field trials of genetically modified cotton

JK Agri Genetics Ltd, a subsidiary of the JK Organisation headquartered in Hyderabad, is working with the Government of Bangladesh to conduct field trials of genetically engineered cotton in Bangladesh.

Chintu Das
GM Cotton
GM Cotton

JK Agri Genetics Ltd, a subsidiary of the JK Organisation headquartered in Hyderabad, is working with the Government of Bangladesh to conduct field trials of genetically engineered cotton in Bangladesh.

“The Bangladesh government is performing field tests for the very first term, which are now finished. The outcomes are positive. This year's field trials will take place between April and November, according to Gyanendra Shukla, President and Director of JK Agri Genetics, best known as JK Seeds. 

In a note on Bangladesh's production, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that Dhaka's Cotton Development Board (CDB) undertook trials of genetically modified or bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton with 2 different variants JKCH 1947 Bt and JKCH 1950 Bt — that can withstand bollworm and Fall armyworm in the crop. As per the USDA, JK Seeds, a former subsidiary of JK Tyres and Industries Ltd, provided the CDB with Bt cotton varieties under a content swap arrangement. 

“Although the first season trials yielded promising results, further trials are expected. When the Bangladesh government is pleased with the findings, it will begin the deregulation phase, allowing farmers to grow the Bt variety, according to Shukla. On March 4 of the last year, the CDB actually delivered a greenhouse trial of cotton varieties, and it obtained permission from Bangladesh's National Committee on Biosafety Clearance to launch confined field trials for the latest crop year (August 2020-July 2021), according to the USDA. 

Growing production: 

“On our own, we're doing nothing. “Neither are we involved in any commercial operation in Bangladesh,” JK Seeds President said, implying that the Sheikh Hasina Wajed government is managing these matters individually while his business is assisting.

The goal of these trials is for Bangladesh to produce "effective genetically modified cotton" as part of its efforts to improve cotton production. It presently imports about 25% of its raw cotton requirements from India. Bangladesh's 2020-21 crop is expected to be 1.86 lakh bales (of 170 kg) on 46,000 hectares, according to the USDA. 

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