Agri Business

Maharashtra farmers body threatens to plant GM crops

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on June 08, 2020

Shetkari Sanghatana chief seeks farmers be allowed to use all available technologies, including GM seeds for better returns

The farmers in Maharashtra will again break the law by planting unapproved genetically modified seeds of cotton, maize, rice, mustard, soybean and brinjal from June 12. They are willing to go to the jail for safeguarding their technology freedom, said Shetkari Sanghatana chief Anil Ghanwat in a press statement.

Shetkari Sanghatana is a farmers organization based out of Maharashtra. Its main aim is to provide freedom of access to markets and technology. It is a big supporter of GM seeds, and last year also its members had broken the law by planting Herbicide Tolerant BT cotton seeds.

Ghanwat said in the statement that due to the Central Government's disregard for their demand, the farmers association would be planting genetically modified seeds in the current Kharif season. The farmers should be allowed to use all available technologies, including GM seeds for better returns.

Shetkari Sanghatana has been working for decades to ensure that farmers have the freedom to use any seed or technology of their choice. Intensifying the fight for the last two years, farmers had publicly planted Herbicide Tolerant BT cotton seeds and had emailed to concerned ministers demanding the lifting of the ban on genetically modified seeds, he said.

He added in the statement that although the Centre has banned the use of Herbicide Tolerant BT cotton seeds, however, these banned seeds have been planted on lakhs of hectares in the state. Since the seeds are traded on the black market, a large number of them are of low quality. If the Union Ministry of Environment gives official permission for these seeds, then the farmers will have access to better quality seeds and won't get fooled by the black market traders.

Published on June 08, 2020

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