‘Make technology available’: Farmers in India set to plant illegal GMO seeds for second year in a row

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Farmers prepare to sow illegal seeds in December 2019. Credit: Hindu Business Line

Farmers in Maharashtra are gearing up to sow non-approved Genetically Modified (GM) seeds of crops like cotton, maize, soyabean, and brinjal this season. Led by the Shetkari Sanghatana, this movement will be undertaken across the state, with farmers setting up boards on their fields proclaiming the nature of their crop.

Anil Ghanwat, president of the Shektari Sanghtana, said this movement is an extension of their ongoing one to make technology freely available for the farm sector.

[In 2019], the Sanghatana had led thousands of farmers in Akola district in a civil disobedience movement, which saw farmers sowing the non-approved herbicide-tolerant (Ht) variant of GM (Bt) cotton. Akola district authorities had filed FIRs against the organizers in this regard, but the state had seen farmers openly sowing this variant.

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