Dec. 19, 2013
The report is a result of the largest and most comprehensive survey involving 2,400 Bt cotton farmers across the three agro-ecologically distinct cotton growing states. The survey focused on 1,000 farmers of rainfed cotton in Vidharbha districts of Maharashtra in Central zone, 1,000 farmers of semi-irrigated cotton in Andhra Pradesh in Southern zone and 400 farmers of fully irrigated cotton area of Punjab in Northern cotton growing zone of the country. The survey draws the key trends in cotton cultivation in India and confirms the wide-spread planting of Bt cotton in both rainfed and irrigated areas over a long period of time.
Lauding the commendable job of interacting with the largest sample of Bt cotton farmers in rainfed and irrigated areas India's Agriculture Minister Pawar emphasized that "the wider adoption of Bt cotton has emerged out of sheer benefits to farmers, successful control of the dreaded bollworm pests, benefits to industry and the nation through enhanced export and protection of environment by way of reduction in pesticide use". The major highlights of the survey based on the interaction with 2,400 Bt cotton farmers from rainfed, semi-irrigated and irrigated cotton growing areas include:
• Bt cotton technology has attracted young farmers to cotton farming across the surveyed States.
• Bt cotton technology is equally useful for small and large farmers across rainfed, semi irrgated and irrigated areas.
• Bt technology has decreased pesticides usage, increased cotton productivity and farmers' income, and contributed significantly to poverty alleviation.
The Agriculture Minister announced the commissioning of a country-wide survey on Bt cotton to assess and evaluate the impact of different aspects of Bt technology in nine cotton growing State of the country. "Based on encouraging findings of this project, my Ministry has already commissioned the country-wide survey to measure the perception and the contribution of Bt cotton technology, said Mr. Pawar.
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