In push for access to GMO seeds, Indian farmers turn to social media

| | June 12, 2018

At a time when there is a massive controversy over genetically modified crops, a farmers’ organisation in Maharashtra is making a strong pitch for GM seeds.

For about 15 days now, farmers across Maharashtra have been getting social media forwards urging them to give a missed call if they wish to fight for the availability of the GM seed technology.

The posts being circulated by Shetkari Sanghatana, a farmers’ organisation, say “Bheek nako, GM biyana dya” (don’t give us your alms, give us GM seeds instead).

The organisation is also organising conferences for farmers on this issue.

The Shetkari Sanghatana, founded by former Rajya Sabha member and farmers’ leader Sharad Joshi, has always been in favour of GM technology.

However, with the state government now cracking down on farmers using unapproved variants of GM cotton, the organisation has raised its pitch on the need to make latest seed technology commercially available to farmers.

“We have been getting about 100-150 missed calls on a daily basis supporting the cause,” said Shetkari Sanghatana leader Ajit Narde.

[At their conference] Shetkari Sanghatana gave the stage to farmers who have used Bt Cotton in farming to share their experience with the GM crop. As per the organisation’s estimates, about 700 farmers from across 10 districts in Maharashtra attended the technology conference.

Read full, original post: These Indian farmers are using Whatsapp and Facebook to demand GM seeds technology

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