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Noticeable decline in sale of spurious Bt cotton seeds
16
Sep '08
Sale of spurious Bt cotton seeds have plummeted drastically in the country, even though acreage under Bt cotton has increased considerably in the past four years leading to a bumper production.

According to the statistics revealed by the Government, in the year 2007-08, only 5.23 percent of the samples tested were found uncertified against 68.91 percent recorded in 2003-04.

Cotton experts have even gone to the extent of saying that illegal Bt packets would soon become obsolete as regulatory authorities have undertaken a host of detective and punitive actions against the unapproved Bt cotton varieties, ensuring that they are not available in the market.

Shrinking of spurious seeds led to an expansion in production which helped the country become second largest producer, consumer and exporter of cotton in the world.

A group of the experts have even asserted that the Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR) has taken copious measures which accompanied by the decline in prices of Bt cotton seeds has tremendously helped bringing sale of illegal Bt cotton seeds under control.

Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Maharashtra have been some of the worst affected but even in these areas, a marked deterioration was spotted in the usage of spurious seeds.

Gujarat alone saw the presence of spurious quality seeds come down to 20 percent in 2007-08 from the previous level of 80 percent in 2003-04. However, Madhya Pradesh was not that fortunate. Out of the total samples tested in 2007-08, over 45 percent were found to be below standard and of unapproved Bt varieties. This revelation was shocking, especially since these four states produce over two-third of the total country's output.

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