GLANDLESS COTTON VARIETY MAKES ITS DEBUT
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 1992. GLANDLESS COTTON VARIETY MAKES ITS DEBUT. Spore 37. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45672
The cultivation of GL7, the new variety of glandless cotton, is expanding rapidly in francophone cotton-producing countries. The key to its success is the fact that it produces seed without gossypol, whilst its ginning percentage is 46%, higher...
The cultivation of GL7, the new variety of glandless cotton, is expanding rapidly in francophone cotton-producing countries. The key to its success is the fact that it produces seed without gossypol, whilst its ginning percentage is 46%, higher than that of other varieties. Gossypol present in normal cotton seed and throughout the plant, is toxic if ingested by man or monogastric animals and only ruminants can eat it safely. Scientists have been producing gossypol-free varieties for a long time but, apart from a few trials, they have not yet been grown commercially in any African country. These varieties are prone to pest attacks and generally produce fewer fibres, for which, after all, cotton is grown. But the high ginning percentage of GL7 has changed opinions, and a significant area has been planted with it in 1991: 8,500ha in Cote d'Ivoire; 7,000ha in Burkina Faso and 3,500ha in Benin. The proportion of land with glandless cotton will rise sharply next season. It will then be up to the producers to maximize the potential benefit from these protein-rich seeds, which can be processed into animal feed (especially for poultry and pigs) or can be used for human consumption in the form of flour and biscuits. Milling of glandless seeds must adhere to strict standards in order to give high-quality products and specialized equipment is required for protein extraction. This calls for further capital investment from the cotton companies, who are just beginning to take an interest in the variety. At present Togo has one factory which can extrude and expand cotton proteins. It will also process seeds from Benin; Cote d'Ivoire is also beginning to process cotton flour with 50% protein, which will probably be sold in Europe to supply the large cattle feed market. The flour can also be used as a partial substitute for wheat flour in bread-making. In parallel with this development, the EC is funding research into the nutritional value of glandless cotton seed. It is particularly beneficial as a weaning food for babies and for malnourished children. When dehusked, grilled and pounded the cottonseed can be eaten directly by rural people; farmers in west Benin, where the cultivation of glandless cotton is most advanced, eat the flour in the form of fritters. Seed from the older varieties of cotton is eaten in times of hardship in Burkina Faso and gossypol-free seed would be of enormous benefit there. 'Edible' cotton, which has long been the scientists' dream, now looks like becoming a reality in Africa.