Indian farmers excluded from debate on GMO cotton

Screen Shot at PM
Photo from The Odd Pantry/Aneela Mirchandani

I am on a phone call with a farmer named Ganesh Nanote [from Nimbhara, India]…

. . . .

I have been conversing with him over the period of some months to gain his perspective as a grower of GM cotton. What led him to grow it …? Does he feel duped by corporations like Monsanto, as activists have claimed?…

. . . .

…Ganesh sounds pragmatic as he describes his history with this crop… “I was the first farmer in my local area to try it out… Other farmers have looked at my example and now most (you could say all) are growing GM cotton.”

. . . .

…In the 1990s, before GM cotton came into the market, farmers …were fighting a serious infestation of cotton bollworms. Sometimes, Ganesh told me… farmers would lose more than half their cotton to it, and could not … cover their costs.

. . . .

He bristles at critiques from people who are far removed from farming themselves…

The only way to make people understand, he says, is to include Indian farmers in the conversation… “No one usually bothers us for our opinions, not even the Indian press.” [he says] … If farmers didn’t like Bt cotton, why would 99% of farmers seek them out in the market?”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Profile of an Indian GM farmer: high-tech seeds on a traditional farm.

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