Agri Business

Pro-Bt cotton farmers flay move for moratorium on field trials

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on October 28, 2012

Call for checks and balances in trials





The farmers who are in favour of Bt cotton have flayed the recommendations of a Supreme Court panel that called for a 10-year moratorium on field trials of biotech crops.

They said biotechnology gave the seeds in-built protection against harmful insects, helping them get additional yields.

They called for efforts to make the regulatory system more robust to address fears and apprehensions over the genetically modified crops.

“We need to reinforce checks and balances to ensure systematic trials and implementation of all guidelines. But to stop all research into biotech crops is short sighted and regressive,” they said.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, representatives of three district level farmers’ groups termed the moratorium ‘anti farmer’.

Lakshminarayana (President of Nagarjuna Rythu Samakhya, Guntur), S. Jayapal Reddy (President of Pratapa Rudra Farmers Mutually Aided Credit and Marketing Federation, Warangal) and Laxma Reddy (President of Karimnagar Manair Farmers Welfare Society, Karimnagar) have participated in the conference.

“There are some seeds (with biotech) protect the plant against herbicides and weedicides and some others help the crops grow with less water and use fertiliser more efficiently. Any moratorium on field trials could impact the interests of farmers,” they said.

“We need biotechnology. We want the right to choose and freedom to farm,” they said.

The associations have also written to the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N Kiran Kumar Reddy, seeking his intervention to ensure that research in biotechnology is not stopped.

>kurmanath.kanchi@thehindu.co.in

Published on October 28, 2012

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