By admin       2019-05-29

To plant genetically modified variant publicly on June 10.On June 10, these farmers will openly plant HTBT cotton seeds at Akot in Akola district of Vidarbha. 29 May, 2019.A section of the countrys farmers is gearing up to defy the ban on the cultivation of genetically modified crops like Bt brinjal and herbicide resistant Bt (HTBT) cotton, without caring for legal action. On June 10, these farmers will openly plant HTBT cotton seeds at Akot in Akola district of Vidarbha. In April, anti-GM activists had exposed a plot of illegally planted Bt brinjal in Haryana. While that crop has been destroyed by the administration, farmer organisations have been demanding compensation. Members of the Shetkari Sangathan from Maharashtra, who have been demanding freedom to use technology, had visited their counterparts in Haryana to express solidarity. "Last year, we had appealed farmers to plant HTBT cotton and assured them security. However, they were afraid of government action. This year, we will openly plant HTBT cotton in Akola," said Ajit Narde, head of the technology cell at the Shetkari Sangathan. In Maharashtra, farmers have been illegally growing HTBT cotton for the past couple of years. This year so far, the state government has seized more than one tonne of HTBT cotton seeds worth Rs 65 lakh from 10 places. "The extent of HTBT is about 10% in districts like Chandrapur and Yawatmal," said an official at the agriculture department. There are other farmers who want their peers to follow the law of the land. Ajay Vir Jakhar, chairman of the Bharat Krishak Samaj, said: If the law of the country doesnt allow use of Bt brinjal seeds, then farmers should follow that rule. Strict action should be taken against those who do not follow the rule. Refusing to comment on whether the government should change the law to allow farmers plant GM crops, Jakhar said, As a farmer organisation, we do not have the means to judge the long-term impact of the technology. There is a tendency to overestimate the impact and underestimate the unintended consequences of new technologies. I will like to trust the decision my government takes in this regard.

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