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 on July 6.
Addressing a large gathering of people from India’s cotton and textile sectors, Hake highlighted key innovations in the cotton sector from around the world and emphasized the importance of continued research and development to help cotton better compete against synthetics. He noted that Cotton Incorporated works with researchers in 55 institutions to help advance the industry.
His 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 U.S. farmers to increase agricultural efficiency, and more. Hake advised that the agriculture sector should utilize advances from the biomedical industry – such as the Pocket Laboratory development from Africa – to enhance yield. Gene editing is also a promising advancement, which would result in improving fiber quality.
Hake stated that 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 the Cotton Association of India, said that the goal of the Narendra Sheth lecture series is to inspire youngsters to involve themselves in cotton research and development.
Many of Shri. Narendra Sheth’s contemporaries, who have played an important role in the Indian cotton sector, attended the event.