India Going the Biotech Way

The regulatory authority for biotechnology crops in India, Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) has stated that India has witnessed an increase in the area under plantation with GM insect protected cotton from 1.2 million hectares to 3.2 million hectares in 2005. This variety of cotton has a protein from Bacillus thuringiensis which imparts protection to cotton plants from specific lepidopteron insect pests. Farmers in India were earlier facing losses due to insect pests and up till the year 2002 chemical control was considered to be the only option for controlling the pests. This is what one of the Indian farmer Eknath Shivram Pandit had to say abut GM cotton: It is cost-effective. We have to spray just 2 or 3 times. But with the other seeds, the worms would attack, and we had to spray at least 15 to 20 times.

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