Dismal picture of cotton in Madhya Pradesh in the past decade

A report released by Beej Swaraj Abhiyan and Hamara Beej Abhiyan in Madhya Pradesh on March 31st 2012, also including data from a primary survey taken up in 2012, to look at the comparative performance of Bt cotton with a set of sample farmers in Kharif 2011 as compared to their experiences in Kharif 2011, shows very clearly that there have been no gains made as claimed due to the advent of Bt cotton. In fact, Madhya Pradesh had better yields before the advent of Bt cotton.

The english version of the report is downloadable here; thehindi version is present here.


Our analysis of official data on yields, pesticide consumption, cost of cultivation including fertilizer and pesticides costs etc., clearly points out that in Madhya Pradesh, there have been no gains made as per claims of Bt cotton proponents. In fact, there were better yields in the state before the advent of Bt cotton.

Further, our primary survey that compares performance of Bt cotton in Kharif 2011 with Kharif 2004 also points to increased best online casino use of inputs including irrigation water, increased pesticide consumption on Bt cotton, higher costs and declined yields. This is clearly unsustainable.

WE also look with alarm and concern at Madhya Pradesh, which has a declared organic farming policy for the state, losing its advantage when it comes to organic cotton production, since this is being threatened by the takeover of the seed market with Bt cotton seeds and cotton lands and processing facilities with Bt cotton production.

There is no dearth of proven alternatives on the ground and all such farmer-controlled, safe, sustainable and affordable alternatives have to be promoted with greater investment, effort and appropriate institutional mechanisms by the government with all farmers.

There is also an urgent need to learn lessons from this decade of false hype around Bt cotton in particular and GM crops in general and ensure that the true picture of failed promises is brought into the public domain clearly.

In this context, the Madhya Pradesh government is urged to pro-actively educate farmers on the hazards of GM cotton cultivation, encourage organic cotton cultivation with appropriate incentives and support systems put in place and strictly regulate the Bt cotton seed industry to make Madhya Pradesh a truly organic state.

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