Monday, April 29, 2013

Maharashtra Govt. admits BT. cotton failure: VJAS demands withdrawal BRAI Bill from Parliament

Maharashtra Govt. admits BT. cotton failure: VJAS demands withdrawal BRAI Bill from Parliament

Nagpr -April 30, 2013
Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Radhakrishnna  Vikhe-Patil  admitted that Bt.cotton first GMO seed permitted for commercial trial failed to give any positive result moreover he admitted that Cotton yield in Vidarbha remains an abysmal 117 kg per acre. Even Pakistan was doing better with 400 kg average yield.

"Today Bt cotton spread has increased to 95%. We are now seeing that Bt may nave checked bollworm attacks but incidence of other succulent pests remains. Despite high spending on costly Bt seeds by farmers, the use of costly insecticides remains a matter of worry. Noting that Bt cotton was benefiting seed companies more than farmers, he wondered why our agriculture scientists and officials failed to promote time-tested traditional varieties and indigenously developed hybrids. Cotton yield in Vidarbha remains an abysmal 117kg per acre. Even Pakistan was doing better with 400kg average yield" Maharashtra agri .minister he added
here is the link 
"frist time Agri minister admitted that ICAR failed Echo the sentiments of the farmers in their  reports adding to that the  CICR  did  too little to precious handle for all these years to empower farmers to face changing conditions. He welcomed Brazil experience and success of the high-density crop stand (HDCS) developed by CICR moreover he was happy that HDCS using hybrid cotton had given fantastic yields ranging from 20 to 50 quintals in trials conducted in eight districts of the region much higher than Bt.cotton .” Agri minister announcing further that state id promoting organic farming  and against chemical farming that is forcing vidrabha cotton afrmers in to debt” Minister said   .
‘More than 5 million cotton farmers in Maharashtra cultivating Bt.coton over 44 lakhs hector has been facing cotton crop failure and despair and distress due to debt is killing farmers hence we welcome admission of maharashtra agriculture minister that BT. cotton experiments in dry land region vidarbh and marathawada failed  hence Govt. of India should not pass proposed BRAI bill which will introduce GM seed in food crop too ,may result in to more farmer suicides in other region too ,  Kishor Tiwari, president of the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, a farmer advocacy group informed today .

In 2002, genetically modified BT cotton seeds arrived.
Till around 1970, Vidarbha farmers cultivated cotton using seeds from their own plants. With the start of hybrid seeds, the yields increased significantly but so did the need for costly fertiliser and insecticide.

Agriculturists have also blamed the restrictions and royalties placed on Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) seeds by Monsanto for the spurt in suicides.

Like the hybrid variety, they are non-renewable terminator seeds, and must be re-purchased every year. Today they dominate the market.

It has been pointed out by several agriculturists that these new methods caused farmers to suffer losses leading to debt, pushing them to suicide.

In August 2012, technical experts appointed by the Supreme Court recommended a 10-year moratorium on all field trials of GM food, as well as the termination of all current trials of transgenic crops.

About 14,000 farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra 2011 alone.

A NCRB report stated that in the 17 years from 1995 to 2011, 270,940 farmers committed suicide in the country.

Of these, nearly 20 percent were only from Maharashtra, where 53,818 suicides were reported.

Political experts and agriculturists point out that the 11 districts of Vidarbha, though rich in minerals, coal, forests and mountains, continue to remain underdeveloped because of the dominance by political leadership from the other parts of the state, especially western Maharashtra.

According to another report by NCRB, in 2006, Maharashtra, with 4,453 farmer suicides, accounted for over a quarter of the all-India total farm suicides of 17,060.

Yet another report from the Bureau said that while the number of farm suicides rose since 2001, the number of farmers has fallen, as thousands, in distress, turn their back to agriculture.

"Also, the government has never kept their word on the minimum support price of cotton. Last year, cotton farmers had to take to the streets after Cotton Corp of India fixed the minimum support price for cotton at Rs.3,300, far below the market rate of Rs.4,800 per quintal," Tiwari said.

Farmers had then demanded that the the minimum support price of cotton be raised from Rs.3,300 to Rs.6,000 per quintal to cover increases in production costs.

"It is tragic to note that Maharashtra produces 50 percent of the country's cotton, but its cotton-producing regions are infamous for farmer suicide," Tiwari said.

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