Agri Business

After HTBT cotton, Maharashtra farmers plan to plant genetically-modified brinjal, soyabean

Our Bureau. Mumbai | Updated on July 16, 2020 Published on July 15, 2020

The member farmers belonging to the Shetkari Sanghatana in Maharashtra, who have already broken the law by planting genetically modified HTBT cotton are now planning to plant genetically modified brinjal, soybean and corn.

 

President of the Shetkari Sanghatana, Anil Ghanwat, told BusinessLine that their organisation has asked its members to plant brinjal, soybean and corn. Since the seeds are banned the seeds are available through hidden means for planting. The Shetkari Sanghatana wants the Genetically Modified (GM) technology to be opened up, therefore the farmers would get better yield for their crops. If the technology is unshackled then they will no longer resort to hidden means for procuring the seeds from the black market, he said.

Brinjal is one of the largest cultivated vegetables in the country. The government has not allowed the cultivation of GM brinjal. The whole process of validating GM brinjal seeds has been stalled due to objections by food safety activists and NGOs since the last 10 years. However, Bangladesh has gone ahead with the full fledged cultivation of GM brinjal.

Ghanwat said that July and August is the best season for planting GM brinjal, while GM corn can be planted any time of the year. In Maharashtra, GM soybean seeds can be planted in Rabbi season.

He added that the cotton planting season across Maharashtra is almost over. It is estimated that out of the total area under cotton, almost 25 per cent of the area is planted with HTBT cotton seeds. Farmers have also started spraying herbicides, which have burnt the weeds in the fields but the cotton plants remained untouched. It proves that the cotton variety is genuine HTBT and it will help reduce a lot of farming expenditure.

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Published on July 15, 2020
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