‘Bt’ — which stands for Baccilus thuringeinsis – is now well-known term in India, thanks to the success of ‘Bt cotton’. Cotton crop genetically engineered with Bt is pest-resistant and therefore cotton production has gone up by leaps and bounds in India.
Now, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre has developed a pesticide based on the bacterium strain, Bt. This pesticide performs the same function—it keeps the pests away. This biopesticide is a good alternative to the chemical pesticides, which could be harmful.
BARC says this Bt-based biopesticide is easy to produce, not costly, amenable to formulations. It also acts fast on crops and is non-toxic to beneficial species like honey bees—and humans—and has a long shelf life of two years. It is active against 12 major agricultural pests.
The biopesticide can be produced using conventional fermentation process, with agro by-products as feed.
To produce it, all you need is a standard microbiology laboratory fitted with facility for bacterial fermentation, harvesting, drying and preparation of formulation.
The capital cost of setting up a small scale unit has been estimated at around Rs 30 lakh.
For further details, contact:
Technology Transfer and Collaboration Division
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
Trombay, Mumbai 400085