Thursday, April 23, 2009

India calls PM to ban Monsanto Cotton

VJAS demand PM to ban Bt Cotton Supplied by Monsanto

Publication Date  7/6/2008 

The Vidarbha Jan Andolan (VJAS) activists have reported shocking facts, all types of plants and ruby crops are severely infected by Mealy Bug, a virus gifted by imported Bt.cotton supplied MNC Monsanto. The VJAS warned that coming khariff season will have it'''s wider effect and larger area spread covering all most all crops and set to destroy of next year not only cotton crop but all the other food crops hence too plant eater killer.

VJAS president Kishor Tiwari urged the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh  to ban Monsanto Bt. Cotton seeds in agrarian crisis hit West Vidarbha in order to save more than 3 million distress and debt trapped vidarbha cotton farmers.  He also demanded CBI probe over the Mealy Bug spread in Vidarbha region.

He said that in order to save cotton farmers in suicide prone areas of Andhra Pradesh , the Andhra Pradesh government has advocating promotion of organic cotton and to avoid the deadly bt-cotton trap

Now when the cotton plants have died, the mealy bug is shifting to nearby plants. By mid June, farmers will go for the new cotton crop or plant another crop. But before that, he warned that the bug will have multiplied like any thing. It has shifted to Congress weed nearby, and many other weeds and plants in gardens.

In the fertile regions of Andhra Pradesh  'white gold' monocultures of the high yielding hybrids of 'Green Revolution' cotton had turned the state into the pesticide capital of the world even before the advent of genetically modified (GM) Bt cotton. Now, however, the revolution is turning full circle as more and more farmers are opting for low input organic methods that are healthier and economically far more rewarding.

Non-governmental organisations such as the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Modern Architects of Rural India, the Permaculture Association of India, the Sarvodaya Youth Organisation and Oxfam are working in many villages to promote and train small and marginal farmers in non-pesticide management (NPM) of cotton leading to organic production in the third year of uptake.

This initiative comes against a historical backdrop of government support for high chemical input cotton production at national and at state level that has sent the wrong messages to farmers. GM cotton is now falsely promoted as the answer to reducing the scourge of proliferating pesticide use, and is one of many reasons farmers are succumbing to the pressure to grow GM cotton.

Madhavi, who works for Oxfam said that in Maharashtra, Karnataka and other Indian states, there is a culture of organic agriculture, and she is currently talking to local officials to promote organic production in colleges and research institutes in AP and to familiarise local farmers with this lost tradition.

VJAS has requested Prime Minister to ban Bt.cotton in West Vidarbha region and launch  National Food Security Mission(NFSM)) and special outlay of  Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).

This should be followed along with a comprehensive promotion plan of organic farming in the small and marginal farmers and tribals cultivating barren land for vidarbha and the demand to allocate dedicated funds on the lines of AIBP for farm ponds, community tanks and give incentives to farmers/villages who/which harness water but nobody in the administration is serious over the vidarbha agrarian crisis, Tiwari added.

© 2008

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