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Mahyco gets ready to go commercial for Bt rice, wheat
Friday, 27 February, 2009, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
The Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Company (Mahyco in short), specialized in genetically modified (GM) crops, is all set to go commercial with the Bt varieties of staple crops such as rice, wheat and some vegetables in India. The company is expecting green signal for the commercial cultivation of bio-technologically-improved variety of brinjal (Bt brinjal) from the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) of the Union Ministry of Environment. After Bt cotton, brinjal is the second crop in India that is likely to be approved bt the GEAC commercial cultivation. Out of the 5.5 lakh acres under brinjal in India, about 60% is expected to be under hybrid varieties soon. Among other vegetables, Mahyco is targeting bhindi, chillies and tomato as having good potential for commercial cultivation.

Bt rice, work on which began in 2002-03, is now expected to be granted approval by the GEAC soon, according to Dr Usha Barwale Zehr, joint director, Mahyco. "In fact, we hope to have approval for the Bt wheat as well Farmers in North India are eager to adopt new wheat cultivation technologies," she added.
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