Flourishing trade in spurious GM seeds adds to farmers’ woes

Joseph B. Hash

When Arvind Shinde (title modified), a farmer from Aurangabad acquired a bag of HT cotton seeds from a trader, he was positive of acquiring a bumper crop. Nevertheless, as seeds unsuccessful to germinate he realised that he was duped by the trader. But he could not sign up a police […]

When Arvind Shinde (title modified), a farmer from Aurangabad acquired a bag of HT cotton seeds from a trader, he was positive of acquiring a bumper crop. Nevertheless, as seeds unsuccessful to germinate he realised that he was duped by the trader. But he could not sign up a police complaint or method the Condition government for compensation.

Bt cotton is the only Genetically Modified crop authorized for industrial cultivation in India and, consequently, cultivation of other unapproved GM crops is banned.

But Shinde still wishes to go ahead with HT cotton and Bt brinjal cultivation. “HT seeds will give bumper crop and will help me to receive some financial gain,” he says confidently. But it is not just Shinde, countless numbers of farmers are acquiring GM seeds in the industry and a lot of get duped.

Anil Ghanwat, President of Shetkari Sanghatana, the apex farmers’ system Maharashtra, alleges“Along with HT cotton, Bt brinjal, and now HT soya seeds are also in the black industry. The government has banned GM crops but GM seeds are accessible in the industry and farmers are cultivating. About 25 for each cent of Maharashtra’s cotton cultivation beneath HT cotton. There is a multi-crore industry that is working in GM seeds and a lot of companies are by promoting spurious GM seeds.”

Ghanwat additional, “ The only choice to conserve farmers from bogus seed companies is to permit the cultivation of GM crop”.

Past calendar year the Union Ministry of Agriculture admitted in the Lok Sabha that number of incidences of suspected open up cultivation of Bt brinjal and HT cotton were claimed in Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. The committee appointed by the Division of Biotechnology to look into the creation of Bt cotton seeds with unapproved genes uncovered unapproved cotton was grown, on an common, on fifteen for each cent of the cotton-cultivable area in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana, and five for each cent in Punjab in the course of the 2017-18 season.

Farmers allege a nexus of government officers, seed companies, traders and middlemen working in Gujarat, Telangana and Maharashtra which is enabling promote of banned GM seeds.

“The National Seed Affiliation of India (NSAI) stands with India’s rules and not GM vigilantism. The unlawful spread of HT BT seeds is a malicious endeavor to undermine our sovereignty and contaminate lawful cotton seed organizations. We stand for new technologies, but not by way of unlawful means” stated Indra Shekhar Singh, Director – Coverage and Outreach, NSAI.

He additional, “ Our member companies have been the worst strike by this contamination, as fly-by-night time operators are sporadically planting HT seeds in their breeding fielding and so building them liable for prison prosecution We have already observed scenarios in Maharashtra, Telengana, etc”. NSAI has appealed to the government once more to just take rigorous steps versus these inspired agents, and also set a new parameter for seed good deal contamination. NSAI additional that Indian seeds companies are the victims and not the culprits.

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