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AGRICULTURE & PLANTS: BT cotton farmers earn extra money




                                  PART 1


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TITLE:  BT COTTON FARMERS RAKE IN A MOOLAH

SOURCE: The Financial Express, India

AUTHOR: 

URL:    http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=169723

DATE:   11.07.2007

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BT COTTON FARMERS RAKE IN A MOOLAH

Earn over Rs 7,000 crore more in 2006

NEW DELHI, JUL 10: Cotton farmers have earned an additional income of Rs 7,039 crore [1.27 bill EUR / 1.75 bill USD; 1,000 INR = 18.0280 EUR / 24.8047 USD] in 2006 after a 50% increase in yield due to use of Bt cotton seed, a study conducted jointly by the Associated Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Assocham) and IMRB International has revealed.

Introduction of two-stacked genes Bollgaurd II Bt cotton has benefited famers by making a saving on pesticide use to the tune of Rs 1,600 per acre [28.8 EUR / 39.7 USD]. Bollguard II Bt cotton was allowed for commercial cultivation in central and western India in 2006 and according to Assocham-IMRB study, farmers growing conventional cotton spend Rs 2,900 per acre on pesticide use, while those growing Bt cotton (with one gene cry 1 Ac) spend Rs 2,000 per acre and farmers growing Bollgaurd II Bt cotton spend Rs 1,300 per acre.

Thus the farmers growing growing Bollguard II Bt cotton have the advantage of saving Rs 1,600 per acre on pesticide use over those growing conventional cotton. Bollgaurd II Bt cotton has the advantage of controlling both Bollworm and the sucking pest, Spodopetra, while Bt cotton (with one gene cry 1 Ac) controls only Bollworm. The Bt technology do not totally eliminate pesticide use, it curtails the number of sprays said the study. The number of sprays was about 4.6 times less per acre for control of Bolloworm on Bt cotton (with one gene cry1Ac). The number of sprays was two times less per acre for control of Spodopetra on Bollguard II Bt cotton.

Bollguard II farmers earned a profit of Rs 15,136 per acre, while farmers growing Bt cotton (with one gene cry 1 Ac) earned a profit of Rs 12,541 per acre. Farmers growing conventional cotton earned a profit of only Rs 4,784 per acre the study said and added ”this is despite the fact that Bt seeds are 2.5 times costlier than conventional seeds” and increased used of water and fertilisers. Another study conducted by Assocham in collaboration with Indicus Analytics found are under Bt cotton increased to over 8 million acres with 2 million farmers cultivating it.



                                  PART 2

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TITLE:  ACREAGE UNDER BT COTTON SET TO INCREASE: STUDY

SOURCE: India PRwire, India

AUTHOR: Press Release

URL:    http://www.indiaprwire.com/businessnews/20070710/23391.htm

DATE:   10.07.2007

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ACREAGE UNDER BT COTTON SET TO INCREASE: STUDY

Acreage under the Bt cotton hybrid variety of seeds is likely to go up to 3.5 million hectares by the end of this year, says a study.

’The acreage under Bt cotton in the country is expected to rise up to 3.5 million hectares by the end of this year,’ said the study, ’BT Cotton Farming in India’ by leading industry body the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

The study, based on the latest survey of 5,981 farmers from 37 districts and 1,793 other conventional cotton farmers in nine cotton-growing states, also said the way cotton cultivation was moving, the government would have to increase its usage for the benefit of farmers.

’The area under Bt cotton across states has increased tremendously ranging from 32 times in Karnataka to over 200 times in Madhya Pradesh in just four years time,’ the study stressed.

The study highlighted that farmers who used Bt cotton earned an additional Rs.70.39 billion in income, based on 8.77 million acreage penetration achieved during this crop season.

’This increase in acreage and number of farmers adopting Bt is a testament to the continuing success and acceptance of the technology in India,’ Assocham said.

The chamber also emphasised that the impact of Bt farming on members of a Bt household was found to have been positive on many fronts, especially for women and children. Women belonging to Bt households availed of maternal care services in larger numbers than those belonging to non-Bt households.

Likewise, children belonging to Bt predominant households were found to have higher levels of immunisation.

In terms of economic infrastructure and economic activity, Bt villages were found to be much ahead when compared with non-Bt areas in terms of the presence of permanent markets, greater penetration of shops, banking, telecom and the Internet.

The usage of Bt cotton has been widely criticised in India by scientists, academicians and environmentalists who say these genetically modified seeds have a devastating social and environmental impact.

’The acreage under Bt Cotton would increase because there is no choice left with the farmers. The companies promoting Bt cotton are aggressively campaigning their product so much that the farmers are left with no choice, their choice has been completely destroyed,’ said Vandana Shiva, renowned Indian environmental campaigner.


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