Ram Kaundinya, director general of the Federation of Seed Industry of India (FSII), pointed out that the industry estimates say that around 15 per cent of the present cotton crop across the country is under the HTBt cotton.
Amid a continuing moratorium on all genetically modified crops except Bt cotton, prohibited seeds are now in use across the country. The government knows it, and defiant farmers have started challenging it to do something about it.
The opposition to GM crops is clearly not from farmers. Were that so, the global annual area planted under them wouldn’t have risen from a mere 1.7 million to nearly 190 million hectares between 1996 and 2017.
With a few Haryana farmers symbolically defying a government restriction against sowing banned HT Bt Cotton in Hisar, and the government determined to curb its spread, The Indian Express explains the complex problem and arguments that both the sides present.
CEO of Akola Zila Parishad, Ayush Prasad, said the decision is to prevent farmers from falling prey to fly-by-night operators who are trying to dupe farmers by selling inferior quality seeds which can potentially cause major crop damage.