Maharashtra farmer activists plan trials of cotton varieties

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Pune | Published: June 25, 2019 1:02:59 AM

The Kisan Satyaghara was led by Women Front members of the Shetkari Sanghatana.

cotton, cotton industry, agriculture sector, agriculture industry, cotton production, cotton outputAbout 150 women farmers attended the event.

Women farmers in Maharashtra have now joined the wave of pro-GM crop protests in Maharashtra by sowing the unauthorised varieties of herbicide-tolerant Bt (HT Bt) cotton in Pusada village, Amravati, on Sunday.

The Kisan Satyaghara was led by Women Front members of the Shetkari Sanghatana and the planting took place at the field of Maya Patil Pusadekar, a farmer herself.

About 150 women farmers attended the event.

Saroj Kashikar, a member of the Shetkari Sanghatana, said that officials of the agriculture department were present and had urged them not to plant the banned variety of the seed. However, since the agriculture minister was to visit Amravati, they did not stay for a long time and said that they would come back to collect samples of the seeds.

Kashikar said that farmers should be given the freedom to select technology of their choice.

Anil Ghanwat, national president, Shetkari Sanghatana, said that another three instances of HT Bt planting took place in Akola, Buldhana and Yavatmal districts.

Now, that the monsoons have arrived, more farmers will take the planting of the unapproved varieties of HT Bt Cotton, he said.

The Sanghatana intends to begin a new campaign of planting three varieties of cotton — non Bt, BGII and HT Bt varieties of cotton in various fields of farmers across Maharashtra and scientifically monitor the progress of the crop.

Ghanwat said the campaign called ‘Shetkari Chachani’ ( Farmer Supervisions) will attempt to show to people that HT seeds are genetically modified to tolerate some specific herbicides.

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