NOTE: Below are just extracts from the report. Read the full report at http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=8409
EXTRACT: Bt Cotton farmers in the visited region are in serious distress at the end of Kharif growing season of 2007. The FFT confirms that Bt Cotton is affected by sudden drying/wilting, has more sucking pests and diseases like black arm/leaf spot. Further, pesticide use on Bt Cotton is high...
Fact Finding Report from Bhongir area of Nalgonda district (Andhra Pradesh), on the state of Bt Cotton crop
Following many reports of failure of Bt Cotton crop in the Bhongir area of Nalgonda district, a Fact Finding Team [FFT] was constituted by Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) and PEACE (People's Action for Creative Education), Bhongir to look into the problem and assess the extent of loss, if any.
Date of visit: 19th October 2007
Villages visited: Vangapalli (Yadagirigutta mandal); Cholleru (Yadagirigutta mandal) and Ibrahimpur (Turkapalli mandal).
Methodology adopted: The FFT visited three villages during the day, visited fields and spoke with farmers. They tried a comparative analysis between Bt Cotton and non-Bt Cotton fields wherever possible.
Observations and farmers’ opinion on Bt and Non-Bt Cotton were recorded. Based on the visit, an estimate was made on the losses incurred by farmers.
1. Bt and Non Bt Cotton fields right adjacent to each other were found to be in contrasting states the damage in Bt Cotton fields is visibly high. Such a difference was found clearly in Cholleru village where both Bt Cotton and NPM Cotton (Non Bt and non-pesticidal) fields are next to each other.
3. Loss in each Bt Cotton plot is estimated to be around 60 to 90 percent of the crop.
4. In terms of value, crop loss estimated by the FFT is around 1.2 crores of rupees, in just 4 villages (2700 acres of Bt Cotton from around 5000 acres are severely affected, wherein the yield is only around 2 quintals on an average per acre, against a conservative expected yield of around six quintals per acre on an average. In value terms, the loss on 4 quintals per acre is around Rs. 8,000/-).
5. Farmers who have experienced this loss believe that this could be because of 'seed fault' while a few said that this is because of environmental fluctuations. What is apparent is that this is not the case with Non Bt Cotton.
6. One farmer told this is a disastrous situation for him and that he had never seen this much damage to crop since he started cultivating cotton, around ten years ago.
7. Bt Cotton was also severely affected by black arm disease and leaf spot diseases.
Bt Cotton farmers in the visited region are in serious distress at the end of Kharif growing season of 2007. The FFT confirms that Bt Cotton is affected by sudden drying/wilting, has more sucking pests and diseases like black arm/leaf spot. Further, pesticide use on Bt Cotton is high compared to NPM cotton in the same area and despite several sprays of chemical pesticides for control of sucking pests, the loss to the crop due to these pests is quite high.
The FFT demands that the government of Andhra Pradesh conduct a comprehensive assessment of the losses incurred (extent of area, value of loss etc.) in the entire region and to initiative a process of compensating the farmers for the loss. Further, the official assessment should investigate why Bt Cotton is severely affected whereas non Bt Cotton (NPM) fields are in a better condition quite visibly.[Full report at http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=8409 ]
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