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TITLE:  Bt cotton area increased by 400% in 2004: report
SOURCE: The Financial Express, India
        http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=79754
DATE:   14 Jan 2005

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Bt cotton area increased by 400% in 2004: report

NEW DELHI, JAN 14: The US-based international service for the acquisition
of agri-biotech applications (ISAAA) has estimated that in 2004 area
under Bt cotton in India has increased by 400% to be at 500,000 hectare.

India is categorised as a "mega-biotech country" and has recorded the
highest percentage increase in area under transgenic crops in the world.
The global area under transgenic crops increased by 20% to be at 81
million hectare. India has so far approved a single transgenic crop, Bt
cotton.

However, the area of 500,000 hectare under Bt cotton in India is only 11%
of the area under hybrid cotton and a miniscule portion of over 10.5
million hectare under cotton cultivation in 2004.

In a teleconference with media on Thursday, ISAAA global coordinator
Randy Hautea speaking from Manila admitted that Indonesia and Bulgaria
had pulled out from the global race for transgenic crops. The governments
in these countries did not extend the approval for transgenic crops as
"there was some disasters". Asked if a similar situation would result in
India relating to Bt cotton, Dr Hautea refused to comment.

Commenting on the ISAAA report, PV Satheesh, convenor of the Hyderabad
based Deccan Development Society said: "Bt cotton failed to live up to
the expectations in the third consecutive year in different parts of
south India. We have documented our reports based on the findings of
agronomists and agri-scientists. We will release our findings soon."
National coordinator in ISAAA south Asia office Bhagirath Chaudhary said
: "The highest percentage increase in area under Bt cotton was in Andhra
Pradesh, while Maharashtra had the largest area under the crop. About
300,000 farmers cultivated Bt cotton." Estimated Bt cotton area in AP is
70,000h (1,385% increase), 85,000h in MP (667% increase), 130,000h in
Gujarat (320% increase), 205,000h in Maharashtra (945% increase), 18,000h
in Karnataka (600% increase), 10,000h in TN (132% increase).




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