German study on Bt cotton benefits in India is Untrue and Misleading- VJAS
Nagpur -3rd July 2012
The so called German study of 533 farming households in four cotton growing states including Karnataka between 2002 and 2008 done by Agricultural Economist Matin Qaim at Germany’s University of Goettingen, published in the July 2 issue of Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences that Bt cotton has economically benefited not merely the big farmers. Small farmers are also smiling as their profit margin shot up by 50 per cent in the last decade is untrue and misleading as ground reality is too gloomy to explain and it is unfair to draw such conclusion when Bt.cotton is being cultivated in more than 12 million hector and around 10 million cotton farmers are opted for Bt.cotton seed replacing traditional cotton seed and all officials reports confirm that the introduction of commercial trials Bt.cotton seed is one main reason of triggering cotton farmers suicides and has been main cause vidarbha agrarian crisis forcing Indian Govt. shift from tradition cotton seed hence such baseless and fabricated study is part of paid news campaign being intentionally done Bt.cotton seed manufacturer US base world largest Bt.cotton seed producing company Monsanto Inc. hence 3 million distressed and debt trapped dry land cotton farmers demand Indian Govt. clarification over such hyped surveys and study reports taking micro sample of select cotton farmers ,informed today vidarbha cotton farmers’ advocacy group Vidarbha Jannadolan Samiti (VJAS) convener Kishore Tiwari who is demanding the complete ban of genetically modified Bt.cotton seed in vidarbha and documenting cotton farmers suicides since 2002 .
The recent move of Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR) and The Maharashtra government to implement a pilot project titled as the Brazilian model of Non-Bt.cotton promotion in eight districts of Vidarbha region to start cultivation of straight varieties of cotton in place of hybrid or Bt (Genetically-Modified) ones, the government appears to be doing a rethink over its policy of promoting Bt cotton which confirm complete failure of Bt.cotton seed technology but such project will be futile when nearly 90% of the area under cotton in India is under Bt varieties which cover around 12 million hector and any trial 160 acres of land belonging to 160 farmers in this region will be difficult to give desired result hence we demand complete ban Bt.cotton cultivation in dry land region of vidarbha to make compulsory for cotton farmers’ to cultivate non-Bt straight indigenous varieties which are proven for hundreds of years, Kishor Tiwari of vidarbha advocacy group Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJAS.) added.
“the German study carried out in 533 farming households in four cotton growing states including Karnataka between 2002 and 2008, the study says cotton yields and profits increased by 24 and 50 per cent respectively among Bt cotton farmers as against non-Bt crops where as in vidarbha is agrarian crisis is directly linked with as all farmer suicide prone district mono crop which is predominantly cultivated is Bt.cotton since 2005 and now State agriculture commissioner Umakant Dangat officially admitted that India has the lowest cotton productivity in the world and Maharashtra, the lowest in India and union agriculture minister Mr Sharad Pawar own admission that vidarbha dry land farmers are losing more than Rs.2000 crore per year since introduction of Bt.cotton seed in vidarbha, is proven fact that it’s classic example of promoting wrong technology to wrong class agrarian community as rain sensitive crop has proven killer seed in west vidarbha as 95% farmers opted this technology are dry land farmers ” Tiwari added.
‘We urged Matin Qaim, professor of agricultural economics and rural development at Georg-August-University of Goettingen and all other authors of the study to the dying field of vidarbha where more than 9000 cotton farmers committed suicide and 100% farmers who opted Bt.cotton seed are in distress and debt where as Indian Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar himself admitted in Indian parliament that vidarbha cotton farmers’ are losing more than Rs.2000 crore due to wrong selection of rain sensitive Bt.cotton in rain fed region of Maharashtra and study also contradict the official report of Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR) Director Keshav Kranthi that the cost of seeds of straight varieties is much lower than Bt varieties, besides which these varieties become ready for plucking in just 150-160 days whereas BT varieties take around 180-200 days, which reduces the need for fertilizers, pesticides and other nutrients substantially and unlike Bt cotton varieties, seeds derived from straight cotton varieties can be used during the next season ,these are ground realities totally ignored hence study reports is untrue and misleading hence we want Indian Govt. “white paper” the performance of Bt. Cotton seed in last decade’ Tiwari added.