A nationwide study on Socio-economic Impact Assessment of Bt cotton in India conducted by Council for Social Development,a development research institute and commissioned by farmer organisation Bharat Krishak Samaj (BKS),has found significant influence of hybrid Bt cotton seeds on farming choices in Punjab and Haryana.
The study released by BKS chairman Ajay Jakhar on Tuesday claims that introduction of Bt cotton has increased productivity and yield,is giving higher returns to farmers and reducing pesticide consumption and overall improving the standards of living. Cultivation of hybrid Bt cotton seeds in Punjab and Haryana,which began in 2005-06,has increased cotton production in Punjab by 130.28 per cent and in Haryana by 101.24 per cent per hectare with hybrid bt cotton seeds. The growth rate of cotton area under cultivation increased by 21 per cent in Punjab and 9.24 per cent in Haryana and average income of farmers has grown by 557 per cent and 528 per cent in the two states resulting overall betterment in the standard of living,it stated.
Punjab and Haryana witnessed an increase in cotton area under cultivation between 2009 -11,with the area under Bt cotton increasing to 5.92 lakh hectare in 2007-08 from 0.60 lakh hectare in 2005-06.