Farmers Increase Planting of Biotechnology in India

Share Article

Increased yields and income from Bt Cotton enables farm family to improve quality of life.

This technology is going to be very helpful. … There has been a lot of benefit. This product has brought in money. With money, there can be education

The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) – the regulatory authority for biotechnology crops in India – recently announced that farmers increased the area planted with genetically modified (GM) insect-protected cotton to 8.1 million acres (3.2 million hectares) in 2006, up from 3.1 million acres (1.2 million hectares) in 2005.

Insect-protected cotton contains a protein from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that protects cotton plants from specific lepidopteron insect pests. Cotton farmers in India are severely constrained by annual damage and losses due to insect pests – especially lepidopteron insects. Until the introduction of biotechnology in India in 2002, chemical control was the only option and the most common practice for controlling these pests.

Indian farmer Eknath Shivram Pandit has grown corn and cotton for nearly 15 years and recently switched to Bt cotton. “It is cost-effective. We have to spray just 2 or 3 times. But with the other seeds, the worms would attack, and we had to spray at least 15 to 20 times.

“This technology is going to be very helpful. … There has been a lot of benefit. This product has brought in money. With money, there can be education,” continues Pandit, a husband and father of three. “I will buy more land for farming. Dig more wells. I can build a house. Save some money for my daughter’s wedding and son’s education.”

To learn more about biotechnology in India and to view Eknath Pandit’s exclusive video interview and podcast – as well as interviews with two of his fellow Indian farmers, Vitthal Narayan Patil and Keshavrao Pawar – visit Conversations about Plant Biotechnology Web site: http://www.monsanto.com/biotech-gmo/new.htm.

Conversations about Plant Biotechnology is designed to give a voice and a face to the farmers and families who grow biotech crops and the experts who research and study the technology. The Web site contains more than 40, two- to three-minute, extremely candid, straightforward and compelling video segments with the people who know the technology best. The Web site is hosted by Monsanto Company — a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality.

Contact:

Ranjana Smetacek

314-694-2642

###

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print