MMBs Bt cotton share up at 76%

Written by Commodities Bureau | Mumbai, Sep 22 | Updated: Sep 23 2008, 06:14am hrs
Mahyco Monsanto Biotech India Limited (MMB), a 50:50 JV between Mahyco and Monsanto Co, USA, on Monday, announced that about 4 million farmers cultivated Bollgard II and Bollgard Bt cotton over 172 lakh acre, or 76% of Indias total 225 lakh cotton acre in kharif season of 2008. Bollgard II acreage increased to 45 lakh acre from 12.2 lakh acres in 2007, i.e. an increase of 268%, and Bollgard continued to be widely adopted over 127 lakh acre.

Bollgard II has a superior double-gene technology that offers farmers better insect resistance management (IRM), along with higher yields, resulting in saving on pesticide and thereby resulting in a higher income for the farmer.Bollgard II and Bollgard insect-protected cotton are widely planted around the world as an environmentally friendly way of controlling bollworm.

The rapid adoption of Bollgard II and Bollgard on 76% of Indias cotton acreage is a testament to the farmers appreciation of the benefits and superior value of the technology, Raj Ketkar, deputy managing director, Mahyco Monsanto Biotech, said. Within six years of the launch of Bollgard Bt Cotton in 2002, Indias cotton production has doubled, making it the second largest producer and the second largest exporter of cotton in the world. We will continue to invest in educating Indian farmers on crop management practices, which is in line with our commitment to enhancing agricultural productivity, he said.

In India, the highest growth for Bollgard II was witnessed in Maharashtra with 21.6 lakh acre (6.3 lakh acres in 2007); Andhra Pradesh with 8.4 lakh acre (1.01 lakh acres in 2007); and Gujarat with 5.3 lakh acre (3.1 lakh acres in 2007). These technologies were launched in India by MMB, . MMB has sub-licenced the Bollgard and Bollgard II technologies to 23 Indian seed companies.