Thursday, May 10, 2012

Will B’ngir farmers get enough Bt cotton seeds this year? THURSDAY, 10 MAY 2012 22:34

Bhubaneswar Will B’ngir farmers get enough Bt cotton seeds this year?
THURSDAY, 10 MAY 2012 22:34
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Only one hybrid cotton seed dealer of the district turned up in the meeting held on April 19 last to ensure the supply hybrid cotton seed to the farmers this year, which makes it amply clear that the farmers would not get seeds adequately and go for the banned BT cotton cultivation in Balangir district.
Before the commencement of the cotton cultivation season, we convened a meeting of all seed dealers/company representatives of approved hybrid variety cotton and told them to keep the seed ready for forthcoming season. We issued letters to the seed dealers/company representatives in April, but none turned up except one, pointed out an official here.
According to official sources, the area under cotton cultivation in the district is increasing steadily from 19,409 hectares in 2009-10 to 35,330 hectares in 2011-12.
This year the target for cotton cultivation in Balangir district is 34,200 hectares. We require around 85,500 packets of cotton seeds for our district as per acre usually one packet of cotton seed is required, said an official.
The Government lacks clear cut policy to ensure seed to farmers and it should make necessary arrangement so that the farmers would get the seed easily and monopoly of seed companies be ended, said Jati Pradhan, an activist. The absence of seed dealer in the meeting would make it easier for the entry of Bt cotton, he said.
Bt Cotton, which is a Genetically Modified (GM) seed, has been banned in Odisha but it has caught the craze of Balangir farmers in last few years. Unmindful of ecological consequences of the BT cotton cultivation on soil and its surrounding and notwithstanding of the high cost of the cultivation, the farmers are taking it up for farming in a big way, said sources.

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