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Use of Bt cotton leads to de-skilling

30
Jan '07
A study by Glenn Davis Stone from Washington University puts forward the view that Bt cotton farming in Warangal has led to 'agricultural deskilling'.

This is due to farmers generally being unaware of what they are planting and the type of environment required for Bt cotton.

Farmers of Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh find that use of genetically modified Bt cotton seeds, especially against virulent pest attacks is not the appropriate solution.

Repeated crop failure due to virulent pest attack increases cost of cultivation and leads to high debts. This forces farmers to commit suicide every year. During a single month in 2006 about 279 farmers committed suicide, says a report compiled by farmers' wing of Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Chaotic hybrid seed market where products come and go at fast pace confuses farmers who do not know what they are using. Even seed firms rename and resell outdated seeds, observes Stone.


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