Staff Correspondent

This variety is best suited for the State: Vice-Chancellor

DHARWAD: The University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Dharwad, has plans to release BT Cotton seeds of Bikaneri Nerma variety for public use in the State by next monsoon.

Addressing presspersons here on Friday, Vice-Chancellor of the university J.H. Kulkarni said that it was the first variety developed in the country and was best suited for cotton-growing areas of the State.

He said the crop duration was 170 days and the yield was 18 to 20 quintals per hectare. Cotton scientist B.M. Khadi said the university had plans to produce 1,000 quintals of BT Cotton seeds and make them available to farmers during the next monsoon.

Dr. Kulkarni said that the university would offer diploma and certificate courses for those who had passed SSLC from the next academic year. The courses would be in organic farming, plant protection, hi-tech horticulture, agricultural pharmacy and seed production.

He said the Union Government had sanctioned Rs. 23 lakh under “Funds for Improvement of Science and Technology in Universities and Higher Education Institutions (FIST) programme to strengthen postgraduate teaching in the Department of Textiles and Apparel Designing, College of Rural Home Science, Dharwad, and Rs. 21 lakh to the Department of Agricultural Microbiology in the College of Agriculture, Dharwad, for infrastructure development.

The Vice-Chancellor said that UAS had identified a “desi bold seeded” chickpea variety (BGD-103), Kabuli chickpea variety (BG-1105), upland paddy variety (MGD-11), durum wheat variety (UAS-415) and a mulberry variety (S-1635) for release.

Dr. Kulkarni said that UAS had plans to produce 55,640 quintals of seeds of cereals, pulses, oil seeds and vegetables during 2007-08 and godowns and seed testing laboratories had been established with an outlay of Rs. 4.35 crore. Extension Director of UAS L. Krishna Nayak said that with the help of the Department of Agriculture, UAS would set up 200 touch screen kiosks at raitha samparka kendras. These kiosks would provide information on various crops, cultivation methods, manures and pesticides, he added.