Fair Price for BT Cotton Seeds

Mahyco Monsanto the company which got approval from GEAC induced the farmers about the high yields through media & the dealer network and sold 9500 packets at Rs 1600 per packet of 400 grams, against the price of Rs.400 for the ruling hybrids during 2002-03.

BT Cotton, yields were low and the so called resistance to Bollworms was also not effective. Contrary to the field situation the company had spear headed publicity campaign stating that farmers have reaped additional benefits through cultivating BT Cotton?  Central and State Governments have also joined the publicity campaign of the company and the state of A.P. through the Commissioner of Agriculture-submitted an excellent report to GEAC after visiting only 4 selected farmers in the entire state.

BDS on behalf of TNRMG a network of 12 NGOs has organized a state level BT cotton farmers meeting at Mallapur village of Kothur Mandal, Mahabubnagar Dist. This was well covered by print and electronic media, The Hindu, local dailies. Zee TV and other local TV channels. 

BDS also organized a visit of elected reps, NGOs and the company staff to observe the BT cotton fields in the Kothur Mandal of Mahabubnagar Dist.  The team headed by Dr. M. V. Mysoora Reddy, MLA have observed BT cotton fields and interacted with the farmers and demanded a white paper from the Govt. The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh reviewed the situation and ordered for a survey  on the situation of B.T. cotton crop in the state by the Agriculture University and the Agriculture Department.  Both have confirmed that the yields of BT cotton were low &inferior in quality. This is the first official report on the failure of BT cotton in the entire country. BDS also organized a Public hearing on B.T. cotton in July 2003.  Researchers & Scientists from the Agriculture University, other organizations, NGOs. farmers, Media and finally the company reps. have participated in the Public Hearing.  All the issues were thoroughly brought before the panel of judges.  Subsequently the Government of Andhra Pradesh took the issue to the Monopoly and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission and got the price of BT cotton seed reduced by more than fifty percent. A case for compensation is pending in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh. Bt Cotton dashes hopes of ryots. source: The Hindu, India, by K. Venkateshwarlu http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/2002/12/30/stories/2002123003130600.htm..  Heated debate over Bt Cotton at public hearing.  www.thehindu.com//2003/07/30/stories/2003073003900400.htm‎.  Project was supported by Inter cooperation Swiss ICNGO India.


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