Agri Business

Maharashtra farmers to revive pro-GM crop movement

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on May 26, 2020

Want ban on GM crops to be lifted

Maharashtra farmers, under the banner of Shetkari Sanghatana (SS), will revive pro-GM crop movement against the Centre’s ban on GM crops.

SS President Anil Ghanwat said that starting from Thursday (May 28) farmers will write to the State and the Centre seeking permission to sow GM seeds. “ Farmers will start a campaign to sow GM seeds under the banner — ‘I am a GM crop farmer – I am a criminal’ if the government fails to respond affirmatively within eight days”, said Ghanwat. He said the farmers will break the law and plant GM soya, brinjal, corn and mustard.

To intensify protest

Ghanwat claimed that world over, farmers are using GM seeds and reaping benefits out of it. “After permitting to plant BG 2 GM cotton, the government has not allowed any other GM crop. However, the government is importing oil produced using GM soyabean. Farmers are fighting for their right and we will intensify the agitation”, said Ghanwat.

Last year, farmers in Maharashtra launched a ‘civil disobedience’ movement by sowing GM HTBT cotton to protest against the Centre’s ban. Over 1,000 farmers participated in the movement in Maharashtra’s Akoli Jahagir village on June 10, sowing genetically modified HTBT cotton. Since then, farmers have been openly defying a ban on GM crops, daring the government to take action. The carrying, storing, selling or sowing of banned GM crops invites a ₹1-lakh fine and five years’ imprisonment.

Farmers in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra cultivate unapproved HTBT cotton, a Central panel had found earlier.

Published on May 26, 2020

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