Agri Business

Maharashtra farmers begin pro-GM crop agitation

?OUR BUREAU Pune | Updated on June 02, 2020 Published on June 02, 2020

Farmers sowing HTBT cotton seeds in their field to mark the launch of the agitation

HTBT cotton sowed in Wardha district

The Shetkari Sanghatana (SS), the apex body of farmers in Maharashtra, launched pro-GM crop agitation by sowing HTBT cotton in Murgaon Khose village in Wardha district today.

Khushal Balaji Hiwarkar, a farmer and member of SS sowed HTBT cotton seeds in his field to mark the launch of the agitation. Farmers will continue the agitation in other parts of the State.

SS President Anil Ghanwat said, “ Farmers will defy the ban on GM crop and sow HTBT cotton, soybean, brinjal and corn in the kharif season”. The delegation of farmers met State Agriculture Minister Dada Bhuse demanding that the State government persuade the Centre to lift the ban on GM crops. The SS has started the campaign under the banner ‘I am a GM crop farmer – I am a criminal’. Ghanwat said farmers were suffering because of the government’s adamant stand to continue the ban on GM crops. Last year, farmers in Maharashtra launched a ‘civil disobedience’ movement by sowing GM HTBT cotton to protest against the Centre’s ban.

According to farmers, the pro-GM crop movement in the State resulted in brining 25 per cent cotton field in the State under HTBT cultivation last year.

The Centre had admitted last year that it had received complaints on illegal cultivation of BT brinjal in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, and Punjab. A Central panel had found that farmers in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra cultivate unapproved HTBT cotton.

Published on June 02, 2020
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