Bt cotton hype in Karnataka exposed

A report released on the occasion of a one-day workshop called “10 years of Bt cotton in Karnataka: Whither other cotton?”, with partial support from the Karnataka State Biodiversity Board on March 29th 2012 is available here. This report exposes the reality of fluctuating yields of cotton in the state, increasing use of chemical pesticides in cotton, including insecticides on the crop and rising costs of cultivation, all based on official records with the state government and the Government of India.

The report, brought out by GM-Free Karnataka Movement also has data from a very small survey taken up in Raichur district to compare Bt cotton with non-Bt cotton there in Kharif 2011. The primary data used in the report points to both Bt cotton and non-Bt cotton presenting the farmers only with negative net returns putting a question mark on cotton-based livelihoods itself even as it shows that riskiness of Bt cotton is higher given its significantly higher cost of cultivation per unit land.


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