Governor asks MP govt to probe failure of Bt cotton

New Delhi, Nov 23 | Updated: Nov 24 2005, 05:35am hrs
Farmers distress arising out of the failure of Bt cotton In Madhya Pradesh has drawn the attention of the highest office in the state. The governor, Balram Jakhar has asked the state government to find out the causes for failure of Bt cotton which has landed farmers into indebtedness and heavy losses.

Speaking to FE, Mr Jakhar said, I have asked the state government to find out the causes of failure of Bt cotton. Farmers had purchased Bt cotton seeds at exhorbitantly higher prices with a hope that it would give better yields. But matters have turned different and now farmers are in losses and pushed into indebtedness.

He added, I have asked the state government to investigate the sale of seeds and find out the persons responsible for the situation. The farmers need to be adequately compensated for the losses. Mr Jakhar is the chairman of the countrys largest farmers body, Bharat Krishak Samaj.

According to reports there is incidence of wilt on Bt cotton fields in Badwani-Thikri belt in Madhya Pradesh in the current season, causing heavy losses to growers of Mech 162 Bt, Mech 184 Bt, Mech 6301 Bt and RCH 2 Bt.

A study done by a network of over 20 local NGOs found that wilt phenomenon is now spreading to non-Bt cotton fields from Bt cotton fields. The network of NGOs ruled out that wilt is a result of any abiotic or as a short-coming in farmers practices with Bt cotton.