Underwhelmed, farmers snubbing Bt cotton
Monday, Oct 28, 2013, 12:14 IST | Place: Haveri (Karnataka) | Agency: DNA
They say the hybrid variety is costly, gives low yield and has made honeybees disappear; revert to native varieties.
After growing genetically modified cotton—better known as Bt cotton—for a few years, farmers in the state are disillusioned with its tall claims and have reverted to growing indigenous varieties.
The farmers say Bt cotton overpromises and underdelivers. Take the case of Nagappa Nimbegondi, a farmer in Makiri village in Hirekerur taluk (Haveri district). He had sown three local improved cotton varieties (Sahana, Abaditha and Raichur) and the crop is ready to be picked. He recalls that until four years ago, he was sowing Bt cotton seeds and was getting hardly four quintals from an acre. Then he followed agriculturists’ advice of switching to indigenous varieties.
The move paid dividends and now, he says, he gets eight quintals of cotton from an acre.