OFFICIAL MONITORING REPORTS OF BT COTTON IN INDIA
There have been no official monitoring reports that show a picture of Bt cotton over the years in India, unfortunately, apart from the very initial reports soon after commercial cultivation was approved in India in 2002.
An impact evaluation and socio-economic study of Bt cotton was commissioned by the Government of India to a private sector consultancy firm in 2015. The final report of this commissioned survey is available here.
A December 2015 presentation by Dr Keshav Kranthi is available here, which shows that insecticide use has not come down in cotton despite Bt cotton occupying 95% of India’s cotton, as claimed by the proponents. In the recent past, Dr K R Kranthi of CICR (Central Institute for Cotton Research, Nagpur) brought out a booklet called Bt Cotton: Questions & Answers (2012). A copy of that report can be downloaded here.
Some of the monitoring reports of the initial year are available at:
There is no state government or monitoring team constituted by the GEAC/DBT which scientifically monitored and reviewed the performance of Bt Cotton along a variety of parameters including economics, ecological changes, socio-cultural impacts, health impacts etc., right from the beginning. Any surveys, if at all, were taken up in response to farmers resorting to agitations in case of failures or if civil society groups pointed out to particular problems.
However, there are reports that exist of each state’s observations and feedback on the crop performance. These reports, though not scientific in terms of sample sizes or sampling or data collection/analysis, give an indication of the issues that arose from the ground, related to Bt Cotton cultivation.
The following links lead the reader to reports from various state governments to the GEAC where references exist to some problems evolving out of Bt Cotton cultivation – wilting, failure of the crop, newer diseases, intolerance to heavy rains or heat etc. What is interesting to note is that GEAC, which has collected these reports from the state governments, fails to see a larger picture about Bt Cotton and its specific vulnerabilities emerging from these individual reports. State governments have also gone on record officially to say that productivity increases in cotton cannot be attributed to Bt Cotton cultivation.
We have highlighted certain portions in these reports to draw the attention of the reader to specific issues which need to be investigated systematically for any early warnings and lessons.
First Year of Bt cotton cultivation in AP (2002-03)
Andhra Pradesh-2004 failure (2004-05)
Bt Cotton performance report indicating problems with officially approved hybrids in the state (Gujarat 2004 official report)
Bt Cotton performance report recommending that Bt Cotton is suitable only under certain conditions: Madhya Pradesh report to Union Govt-initial years