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Farmers nationwide adopt Bt cotton from Monsanto
Sep '08
Mahyco Monsanto Biotech India Ltd (MMB) is a 50-50 joint venture between Mahyco and Monsanto Company of US. One of the largest Bt cotton seeds distributor recently stated that nearly 4 million farmers in India have cultivated Bollgard II and Bollgard Bt cotton on nearly 172 lakh acres of land in this season. This is almost 76 percent of country's total 225 lakh cotton acres in Kharif season of 2008.

The Bollgard II acreages has risen from 12.2 lakh acres in 2007 to 45 lakh acres, an increase of 268 percent, and Bollgard Bt variety has been cultivated on 127 lakh acres of land. Bollgard II variety has a superior double-gene technology that provides farmers with better Insect Resistance Management (IRM), along with higher yield, with more pesticide savings that result in higher income.

Farmers in Andhra Pradesh cultivated Bollgard II and Bollgard Bt cotton on 33.9 lakh acres of state's total 372 lakh cotton acres. Bollgard II acreage has hiked by almost 88 percent and has reached 8.4 lakh acres in comparison to mere 1.01 lakh acres last year. On the other hand, Bollgard continued to be used on 25.5 lakh acres of land.

Bollgard II and Bollgard insect-protected cotton seeds are widely planted in different parts of the world as it is environmental friendly way of controlling bollworms, which remain major cause of worry for farmers.

In India, the highest growth for Bollgard II was observed in Maharashtra with 21.6 lakh acres in 2008 compared to 6.3 lakh acres in 2007. Andhra Pradesh with 8.4 lakh acres in comparison to 1.01 lakh acres in 2007 and Gujarat with 5.3 lakh acres to previous year's 3.1 lakh acres.

The rapid adoption of Bollgard II and Bollgard on nearly 76 perecnt of India's cotton acreages is a proof of farmers' appreciation of the benefits they have enjoyed.

Within six years of the launch of Bollgard Bt Cotton in 2002, India's cotton production has doubled which has made India the second largest producer and second largest exporter of cotton in the world.

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