Mysuru, Mar 10 : A new pest-resistant cotton variety developed by a Lucknow-based research laboratory is ready and a field trial will be done soon at Nagpur in Maharashtra. Speaking to reporters CSIR Director-General Shekhar C Mande, who was in Mysuru, said on Tuesday that the cotton crop usually faces the problem of pest attacks and scientists carried out research for developing the ''pest-proof'' cotton variety.
The same variety will undergo further tests and trials before it is certified for commercial cultivation. The research has been carried out in collaboration with the ICAR-Central Institute for Cotton Research. Dr Mande recalled the Samba rice variety (Samba Mashuri), which was developed jointly by the Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, a CSIR lab, and the ICAR-Indian Institute of Rice Research. Today, this “pest-resistant” rice variety was grown in about 18 lakh hectares in many States, helping farmers fetch higher yields and higher returns. Dr Mande also spoke about the aroma and honey missions. The Khadi Village Industries Corporation (KVIC) has joined hands with CSIR for the “Honey Mission”.
Honey is a good alternative to sugar since it contains medicinal properties. A MoU had been signed with KVIC, he said. The idea is to help farmers take up modern methods of beekeeping to improve honey yield and also get additional income. He said a new programme would be launched by the DST from April 1 to promote basic sciences by setting aside a grant of Rs 50 crore. It would help students come up with scientific ideas in an attempt to encourage them to pursue basic science. (UNI)