Sunday, Apr 27, 2003
Front Page |
Southern States |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |
By Our Special Correspondent
It has asked the Government to immediately set up an independent team of experts to re-evaluate its economic viability.
In a report tabled in Parliament on Friday, the panel, quoting from the note submitted by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation in the Union Agriculture Ministry, said the new variety seemed to be "only marginally" better than the normally used variety.
The Bt Cotton did not appear to be significantly better both in terms of productivity and also resistance to bollworm infestation, which was its "unique selling proposition".
According to the note, in terms of productivity, it came to an average of about 400 kg of lint per hectare for the Bt Cotton as against 325 kg of lint per hectare in the case of the non-Bt cotton crop.
In terms of resistance, the Bt Cotton crop required an average of two to three sprays with insecticides for the pest compared to an average of six to eight sprays for the non-Bt crop.
"Taking into consideration the high cost of Bt cotton seeds and the need for more application of fertiliser and water for its cultivation, the committee finds that farmers who have grown Bt Cotton have been put to loss in most of the places," the report added.
The committee also wanted an experts' team to take a new look into the environmental impact of Bt Cotton, as there were risks of reduction in biodiversity and other environmental hazards, which did not make cultivation of Bt. Cotton a "sensible proposition".
The panel, which reviewed the demands for grants of the Agriculture Ministry for 2003-04, also expressed dismay that that the Prime Minister's announcement of a waiver of interest rate on agriculture loan to mitigate the sufferings of farmers in drought hit areas had "not been properly interpreted" by the RBI. The RBI decision to waive the interest only for the first year was not enough. Farmers must be given the benefit of waiver of full interest on the loans, it added.
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |
Copyright © 2003, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of