and more of the cotton grown in India comes from a foreign stock — the genetically modified (GM) hybrids of Bt cotton, which have proved defenceless against weather change and insect attacks year after year.
Bt cotton crop failed in over 56,000 hectares in seven districts of Karnataka. The state government blacklisted Mahyco (Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Private Limited), in which Monsanto has a 26 per cent stake.
Ground visits by government agencies and Mahyco representatives pegged the loss to this amount.
Whitefly attacked and destroyed nearly two-thirds of the cotton crop in Punjab and Haryana even after the farmers sprayed pesticides repeatedly.
Average input cost have doubled in 5 years since 2007. ₹63,751 per hectare was the average input costs in 2012 compared to less than ₹30,000 in 2007 per the figures compiled by the Cotton Advisory Board of India. Seed prices make up a significant part of the input costs, as GM seeds are more expensive and cannot be reused — farmers buy them from seed companies every year.
For the first time, a Central government committee was forced to cap seed prices at ₹635 (450 g packet) for the BG-1 hybrid and ₹800 for the BG-2 hybrid.
use of pesticide for Bt cotton for the past 3 years, this is at the same level used before its introduction, belying claims that Bt cotton is more resistance to pests.
Use of chemical fertiliser in the last 5 years. Given that fertilisers are subsidised in India, this will only increase the burden on public finances.
years since its introduction, Bt cotton seems to have failed on its promise of higher yield, low fertiliser use and tolerance to pests.