Viewpoint: Forcing Monsanto out of India could have serious consequences for cotton farmers

| | February 26, 2018
cotton india b
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[T]hose who advocate swadeshi tend to forget that the Bt seeds patented by Monsanto were responsible for doubling the yield of cotton per hectare. They also tend to forget the fact that none of the Indian research institutes or desi universities could come up with a gene like CRY 1AC that could help tackle pests like Monsanto Bollgard.

Forcing Monsanto to close its cotton business has serious consequences. We have sent a wrong signal to the international business community. We have put the fate of cotton farming and thereby the cotton value chain in jeopardy. For the 2018-19 season, cotton farmers in India will not get Bt seeds that will tackle bollworms. They will be forced to use old Bt seeds or unapproved, unauthorised seeds sold at a premium.

Cotton farming is very important for our country as its value chain, namely textiles, provides employment to the highest number of people in the country. … Therefore, the central government must let cotton farmers have access to the latest technologies. Government should also make policy changes to make our textile products competitive in global markets. Asking Monsanto to come back and approving its latest seed technology would be the first step in right direction.

Read full, original post: Is The Modi Government’s Policy On Bt Cotton Hurting The Textile Industry?

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