Rainfed GMO insect-resistant Bt cotton in India cuts pesticide use 28 percent, study finds

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Cotton BCCL
Credit: India Times

Scientists from Alagappa University in India conducted a study to analyze the performance of insect resistant Bt cotton in rainfed areas. The results are published in Agricultural Economics Research Review 2020.

Bt cotton is the only genetically engineered crop approved for planting in India. To fully understand its performance, farm-level data from 150 sample farmers cultivating cotton in rainfed areas in Tamil Nadu were collected. The data were compared with the economic performance of non-Bt cotton using multiple regression analysis.

Results showed that Bt cotton requires less pesticide consumption (28%) compared to non-Bt cotton cultivated in rain-fed areas. Because of Bt cotton’s resistance to bollworm infestation, productivity increased by 34% and profitability by 98%.

Related article:  Podcast: Plant diseases destroy $220 billion worth of crops annually. Meet the scientists fighting to protect our food supply

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