BHUBANESWAR, March 19: Taking strong exception to the recent statement of agriculture director Dr Aurobindo Padhi that Bt cotton is necessary to boost the production of cotton in Orissa.
Living farms, spearheading anti-Bt cotton campaign, today said that Bt technology is never meant to boost yields but to introduce the Cry1Ac gene to transfer the toxicity of Bt to the plant itself to try and control pests.
The Bt cotton method has caused the resurgence of secondary pests leading to increased use of pesticides, alleged the farm holders adding that costly seeds and the increased investment on pesticides have resulted in indebtedness which has led to the current flurry of farmers suicides that shows no sign of stopping.
While the communique from the chief minister's office (letter no. 1687/ 9 August 2006) has categorically stated that introduction of Bt cotton into the state should be discouraged, how come the bureaucrat commented such a thing, it wondered.
Independent study by two prominent agricultural scientists Dr Abdul Qayum and Mr Kiran Sakkhari, and the report entitled 'The story of Bt cotton in Andhra Pradesh: Erratic processes and results', published by the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA), point out the adverse impact it has on land, cultivation and human being, Living Farm said.In a statement issued here, it said that the cost of pest management of Bt cotton was 690 per cent higher than in non-pesticidal management (NPM) farming systems.