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Cotton research bodies in India, Uganda to develop new seed variety

The Cotton Development and Research Association (CDRA) of Southern India Mills’ Association has signed an agreement with Cotton Development Organisation and National Agricultural Research Organisation of Uganda to develop a cotton seed variety that will help increase the income of farmers in both the countries.

B. Lakshminarayana, former chairman of the SIMDACDRA, and R. Elango, its chairman, said the 18-month project will look at technology exchange between the two countries to develop a cotton seed variety that will give higher yield and ginning out turn.

Uganda grows 100% organic cotton and cotton grown by the farmers in Uganda gives higher ginning out turn compared with Indian cotton. However, the yield from the varieties developed by the CDRA are higher compared with the Ugandan cotton seed. Scientists in the three organisations will work together and seed varieties will be tested in both India and Uganda. The aim is to develop a long-staple cotton seed variety that will increase the income for cotton farmers in Uganda.

“With similar climatic conditions between the two countries, the new variety of seed developed will benefit farmers in India and Uganda,” Mr. Elango said.

“The agreement was signed on November 21 and a detailed plan of action will be finalised soon,” added Mr. Lakshminarayana.

India imports about 10 lakh bales from African countries. Industry sources say transport cost of cotton from west African countries is less compared to shipping from Gujarat.

Uganda produces 1.5 lakh bales of cotton a year and 90 % of it is exported. It has 20 active ginners, according to the International Trade Centre, which facilitated the partnership. By March the SITA (Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa) will also facilitate the next steps, including technical exposure visits, preparation of a detailed multi-year workplan etc.

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