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How has the cotton industry of India fared since 2002, especially since it was the year Bt Cotton cultivation started?
With Bt technology yield per hectare has increased quite significantly.
The reduction in the use of pesticides is huge. Per kg of cotton, there is a reduction of fertiliser to the extent of the increase in the yield. There is no need to apply any more fertiliser per hectare as compared to when non-Bt cotton was being produced.
Where irrigation is available, the absolute use of water per hectare would increase by 15 percent to 20 percent. Since the yield has increased by 75 percent, the per kg use of water is significantly less.
In 2002, India had a world production share of 12 percent. It is now around 25 percent, making India the largest producer of the crop in the world.
It is for the above reasons, the success of Bt cotton in India needs to be celebrated.
Given the length of time that the cotton has been grown, the fears regarding the adverse effect on health have been proved to be without any valid grounds.
The best part of GMO technology, at least in these cases, is that it is scale neutral. The small farmer gets as much benefit as the large farmer.
In the adoption, or otherwise, of the GMO technology, the opinion of the farmer should be respected. And given the whole-hearted adoption by the farmer, they have clearly given their vote to adopt the technology.
With the appropriate technology that is already available, India’s agriculture sector has a potential to play an important part of the economy of the country. The cotton farmers have shown the way.
Read full, original post: How Bt Cotton Transformed Cotton Farming In India