In the backdrop of nationwide farmer distress, particularly among cotton farmers, the government has been urged to allow farmers to use the reusable straight line BN Bt cotton seed and other similar varieties as against those non-reusable hybrid seeds being sold by corporates. This would help farmers save up to Rs 3,000 per acre.
- BT cotton seed industry is a Rs 4,000 crore business and profits are enormous.
- The use of BN Bt cotton will also be in line with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make-in-India programme.
The advantage of using BN Bt cotton is
- That the farmer can reuse the cotton seed the following year, unlike the hybrid BT cotton where the farmer has to buy seed every year.
- They can save up to Rs 2,000-3,000 per acre.
- Straight line seeds cost Rs 100-150 per kg and he needs one and half kg for one acre as it is a high density plantation technology; whereas the hybrid BT cotton costs Rs 2,000 per kg and he requires one to two and half kg per acre.
- Also due to uncertainty of rains if the farmer has to resow the seeds he would save on cost.
US me kya hota hai ?
- In the US, they use straight line seeds and not hybrid BTcotton as it requires a lot of manual labour.
Toh India me kyun nahi allow kar rahe hai BN BT Cotton ?
- Genetically Engineering Application Committee in its meeting on May 2, 2008, had approved commercial release of BN BT cotton in North, Central and South zones.
- However, due to certain patent issues, the matter was referred to the Sudhir Sopory Committee constituted by ICAR.
- The Committee on verification has found that BN actually contains BT gene Cry 1Ac (MON 531event) originally patented by a different company. (yeh toh FRAUD ho gaya ! )
Fraud kya tha...sanshipta me jaan le ?
- However, the patent was that of Monsanto and it has since expired.
- Top officials in the environment ministry are delaying because there are only two months left for field trials of the BN Bt. There needs to be an enquiry into this.