Royalty row: Market plans for colour cotton wither

Variety developed by UAS, Dharwad, nine years ago

The varsity, which gained international recognition for developing an indigenous colour cotton variety had offered to transfer the technology to Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), an undertaking of the Union Textile Ministry. The UAS had sought a minimum royalty for harnessing the benefits of its technology.

The KVIC, at a meeting held in last November had evinced interest in the project with an initial investment of Rs 70 lakh. Several rounds of talks have been held between the UAS and KVIC so far on transfer of technology. The talks should have reached a conclusion by October 2, but for the royalty glitch.

The KVIC norms do not provide for payment of royalty. Instead, it has offered to route the sale proceeds of cotton seeds to the  varsity, which the latter has rejected.

The process to gain market access for colour cotton has thus been stalled for over a year.
Meanwhile, the scientists at the UAS have developed a green variety of cotton. “The technology will be transferred to Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Okkuta, Bengeri, Hubli. The Okkuta will purchase the cotton for the products it manufactures. Over 200 farmers of Dharwad have already consented to grow colour cotton,” said Dr H D Sinnura, Principal Scientific Officer of the Okkuta.

Dr Srikanth S Patil, principal scientist at Cotton Research Department of the UAS said the KVIC should honour the research through payment of royalty. He said the agreement on marketing of colour cotton would be finalised after the UAS vice-chancellor Dr Hanchinal returns from his Delhi tour.

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