Will ‘regulatory red tape’ cost India its status as world’s top cotton producer?

India B
Image source: Thrakika Ekkokistiria SA

Delivering his fifth Independence Day speech on August 15, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he wanted to add value to each stage of agriculture, from the seeds that are planted to the produce that reaches the market …. At the same time, his government …. is stifling the growth of the most successful commercial crop in recent years – cotton.

[R]ather than freeing the entrepreneurial spirit, the government has continued to tie the farmers up with regulatory red tape, while claiming to be their savior …. The plethora of …. schemes are all reinforcing the notion that the “value addition” that the PM mentioned in his I-Day speech can only be undertaken by the government ….

The plight of cotton farmers best illustrates the state of Indian agriculture today. Instead of celebrating the potential of GM cotton in transforming the lives of Indian farmers, new generation technologies are being denied to them making their future insecure ….

Related article:  Viewpoint: Bipartisan opposition to GMOs driven more by activist 'propaganda' than politics

[A] seed company in Gujarat released [an] unauthorized Bt cotton seed in the late 1990s …. the success of the new seed spread like wildfire. Farmers …. traveled to Gujarat to pluck a few bolls of cotton in order to extract the seed to plant it themselves …. India, which was barely self-sufficient in cotton in 2002, has now outpaced China to become the world’s largest producer of cotton ….

Read full, original article: The Trials and Tribulations of Bt Cotton

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