Maharashtra state in India contemplates lifting GMO herbicide-tolerant cotton ban amid farmer protests

cotton farmer
Image: The Better India

Demands to lift [the] ban on the use of herbicide-tolerant Bt (HTBT) cotton in the state are growing stronger. Several farmers organizations have argued that the state government needs to take action in this regard soon to avoid the illegal sale of such seeds annually. HTBT is the herbicide tolerant (Ht) third-generation of genetically-modified (GM) cotton.

The issue came to the light after the Akola district authorities decided to file [charges] against a group of farmers who had sown banned HTBT cotton to highlight their demand for access to the technology. Despite the ban, the HTBT is cultivated in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka as the farmers argue that the hybrid reduces the huge amount of money spent [on weed control].

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Speaking to DNA, newly appointed agriculture minister Anil Bonde said, “I will discuss with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis whether the ban on HTBT cotton can be lifted.”

Read full, original article: DNA EXCLUSIVE: Demand to lift ban on HTBT cotton grows stronger

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