By admin       2018-02-06

The production of cotton has nearly doubled since the introduction of the genetically modified Bt cotton in 2002, the government said on Monday. The hybrids have also helped minimise the damage caused by pests like bollworm. Union minister Mahesh Sharma's remarks in the Rajya Sabha came against the backdrop of the country's genetically modified crop regulator, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee, recommending the commercial use of GM mustard in a submission to the environment ministry. In a written reply in the upper House today, junior environment minister Sharma said: "Since the introduction of Bt cotton in 2002, there has been a near doubling of cotton production in the country from 158 lakh bales in 2001-02 to 351 lakh bales in 2016-17, and increase in productivity from 308kg/ha in 2001-02 to 568kg/ha in 2016 17." "Bt cotton hybrids have helped to minimise the damages caused by bollworm, reduce pesticide use and increase production, yield and net income of the farmers," Sharma added.

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