Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA
Finding new applications and concentrating on functionalities of King Cotton are important. Dr. Kater Hake, Vice-President of Agricultural and Environmental Research at Cary, USA-based Cotton Incorporated delivered the first Narendra C. Sheth Memorial cotton lecture sponsored by C. A. Galiakotwala & Co. Pvt. Ltd, in Mumbai.
Addressing a large gathering of people from cotton and textile sector in Blue Sea, Worli, Dr. Hake highlighted key innovations in the cotton sector from around the world. Staging his talk to emphasize the importance of continued R&D in the cotton industry to compete against synthetics, Hake mentioned how Cotton Incorporated works with researchers in 55 institutions to advance the industry.
His impressive talk focused on developments from Brazil such as zero tillage cotton farming, which has resulted in the yield of 1500 kg/hectare, data utilization by US farmers to increase agricultural efficiency, etc. Dr. Hake advised that the agriculture sector should utilize advances from biomedical industry to enhance the yield such as Pocket Laboratory development from Africa.
Gene editing is a promising advancement, which would result in improving fiber quality according to Dr. Hake. In addressing a query from this scribe, Hake stated, finding new applications for cotton and focusing on the functionality of cotton at the fiber and application levels are important for the cotton sector. Dhiren Sheth, Director of C. A. Galiakotwala & Co. Pvt. Ltd. and former President of Cotton Association of India stated that the purpose of Narendra Sheth lecture series is to inspire youngsters to involve themselves in cotton R& D. Many of Shri. Narendra Sheth’s contemporaries, who have played an important role in the Indian cotton sector attended the event.