Naturally-coloured cotton from India could help reduce the environmental pollution caused by dyes

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After more than three decades of research, an Indian variety of coloured cotton may be commercially released by 2021. A decision will be taken once the last phase of the agronomy trials is over by next year, according to AH Prakash, project coordinator of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research-All India Coordinated Research Project on Cotton.The final stage of the trials will end by April 2021 and a few promising seeds will be proposed for commercial release by a committee chaired by the deputy director-general of crop science, ICAR.While the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, and the ICAR-Central Institute for Cotton Research, Nagpur, have been engaged in sustained research and developed varieties of naturally-coloured cotton, a commercial release has been stalled on the pretext that it can contaminate white cotton. However, there is a boost from the current government and the ICAR for coloured cotton since 2017, when its field trials were included in the All India Coordinated Research Project on Cotton.As colour dyes pollute more water bodies and damage the environment, the search for fabric that is naturally coloured and can be grown organically (as cotton uses a lot of pesticides) has gained momentum.“The Gossypium arboreum (desi) coloured …

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