Agri Business

What made Burkina Faso phase out Bt cotton

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on January 13, 2018


Even as India grapples with a host of issues with regard to Bt cotton, Burkina Faso, one of the biggest adopters of the genetically modified crop, has done away with it.

After witnessing years of losses as cost of production went up with the introduction of Bt cotton, the small West African country decided to go back to the conventional variety.

Bt cotton was introduced in the country in 2003 and adopted quickly and widely. “At the peak, about 70 per cent of the cotton area was covered with Bt seeds,” Kadidja Kone, Regional Focal Point for the Coalition for the Protection of African Genetic Heritage (COPAGEN), told BusinessLine through a translator. Kone was here with fellow activists to share their country’s experience with Bt cotton.

Bt cottonseed was 30 times the price of the conventional one, but gave 7 per cent lower yields, she said. The overall cost of production also went up. “Farmers also observed a trend of increasing tolerance to the plant’s inbred pesticide, requiring spraying of pesticides,” she said. “Our government decided to phase out Bt cottonseed in 2015. Now we have fully phased it out,” she said.

Published on February 17, 2017

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