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PAU signs MoU with Japanese company for the development of cotton

Ludhiana: The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nippon Steel and Sumikin Bussan (NSSB) Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, for the development of cotton through biotechnological means. The MoU was signed by Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, VC, PAU and Eiichi Nakamura, Senior Managing Executive Officer, NSSB, in the presence of the NSSB’s delegates and deans and directors of PAU.

Tetsuya Uetake, The First Secretary, Embassy of Japan, and Manager and Deputy Manager of NSSB, Mr Dinesh Oswal, Chairman of Nahar Group; Dr D.S. Brar, Member, PAU Board of Management and Dr Jagdish Kaur, Additional Director Communication, also graced the occasion.

Nippon Steel and Sumikin Bussan (NSSB) is a global leader in steel with an annual turnover of $ 18 billion. Its textile division is engaged in all the steps starting from material development, product planning, production, and distribution.

Dr Dhillon said that this MoU is a significant milestone for PAU as a leading international conglomerate has stepped in to fund a crucial research project. This is a new beginning and more collaboration would be developed at the national and international level.

Dr Sakae Suzuki of Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan has cloned the genes responsible for pigment (colour) production in flowers. Using the same analogy, PAU will be working on developing the colored cottons.

Nakamura said that such a development would reduce the dependence on chemical dyes and would be a more environmental friendly and safe approach for the textile industry.

Tetsuya Uetake, Manager of NSSB appreciated the efforts made by PAU and NSSB in formulating the collaboration and hoped that more Japanese companies would come forward to tap the strength of PAU for various agricultural projects of mutual interest to both the countries.

Dr N.S. Bains, Director of Research, PAU, gave a brief overview of the proposed research project. He said, “PAU is well known for its strength in the development of superior crop varieties and use of biotechnological tools for speeding up the breeding process. An interest in the development of cotton varieties with specific quality characteristics led NSSB to PAU, which resulted in the formulation of a project to be funded by NSSB.”

Dr R.S. Sidhu, Registrar, proposed the vote of thanks.

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