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Bt technology helps India turn into net exporter of cotton
Jun '12
The introduction of Bt cotton technology in India has helped the country increase its cotton production and turn into a net exporter of the cash-rich crop from being a net importer of the same, according to a field study report.

The report titled “Socio-economic impact assessment of Bt cotton in India” states that the use of hybrid Bt cotton seeds has increased cotton production in the country by more than 9 percent.

Based on the field study undertaken in nine-cotton growing states of India, namely Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, the report states that the area under cotton cultivation has grown by 4.91 percent during the past decade.

The study was jointly conducted by a farmers' organization – Bharat Krishak Samaj – and a research institute – Council for Social Development.

The report concludes that the use of Bt cotton seeds, along with better prices and lower pesticide use, has helped cotton growers to increase their productivity, and in turn, bag higher returns.

Mr. Ajay Jakhar, Chairman of Bharat Krishak Samaj, said the report highlights that India's cotton exports have increased by over 75 percent during 2002-2009 period owing to the use of Bt cotton seeds.

He said the use of Bt cotton has transformed India from a net importer of the crop to a net exporter of the crop.

He said some incidents of farmer suicides were due to factors like fluctuating cotton prices, lack of irrigation facilities and non-availability of timely credit, and not due to the use of hybrid cotton seeds.

Mr. T Haque of Council for Social Development said the study also found that the use of Bt cotton has resulted in reduced expenses on pesticides over the years.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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