DARE-ICAR Campaign for India@75* भारत का अमृत महोत्सव program has taken its pace. The theme for the month of August 2021 is “Food and Nutrition for Farmers”. ICAR-CIRCOT being the only Institute in Asia doing post-harvest technology research work on every part of Cotton plant organized a webinar on “Cotton Crop for Food and Nutrition (खाद्य एवं पोषण के लिए कपास फसल)” on 26 August 2021 at 3.30 p.m. on virtual platform.
Dr. Sujata Saxena, Director (Acting) in her welcome address said that Cotton is primarily cultivated for fiber used in the textile industry. India is now the largest producer of cotton in the world and during past 2-3 years, cotton lint production was 340 lakh bales (of 170 kg) or more. Fibres however constitute only one third of the weight of the harvested seed cotton while the remaining two third is constituted by the seed. Hence about 110 to 115 million tonnes surplus cottonseed is available every year in our country for processing. Cottonseed oil after refining is a healthy edible oil. Today annual production of cottonseed oil is about 13-14 lakh tonnes and it is the third largest contributor to the Indian domestic edible oil basket. The cottonseed meal has good quantity protein and it is rich in essential amino-acids and a good protein supplement for ruminants. However the gossypol content in the cottonseed which acts as a natural defensive agent against insects is toxic to non-ruminant and human beings. Efforts have been made world over and also at ICAR-CIRCOT to reduce gossypol content by using solvents and microbes. The new genetically engineered cotton variety with normal gossypol content in plants and ultra low gossypol content in seed developed in US will further open the avenues for its use in human nutrition.
A lecture- cum-presentation on“Cotton Crop for Food and Nutrition (खाद्य एवं पोषण के लिए कपास फसल)” was delivered by Dr. Jyoti Dhakne-Lad, PHT Engineer & Scientist from Technology Transfer Division of the Institute. She gave an excellent presentation on sustainable utilization of cotton by-products through multilevel intervention to enable food and nutrition for farmer and society as well. She also showcased some innovative nutritive health products made from cotton seeds for human as well as for non ruminants which will help in improving farmers’ livelihood, health status and waste valorization. The medium of instruction was Hindi so it was well received by the audience.
More than 150 people including NARS fraternity, stakeholders, farmers, students, Incubatees and media persons along with staff members attended this program though Zoom link and Youtube live session. ICAR-CIRCOT staff also attended the National level campaign on Food & Nutrition for Farmers Hosted by ICAR addressed by Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.