Organic cotton farming more profitable, says reportJune 15th, 2010 - 5:10 pm ICT by IANS
Hyderabad, June 15 (IANS) Organically grown cotton is more profitable for farmers than Bt cotton, a new Greenpeace report said here Tuesday.
“In the year 2009-10, farmers cultivating cotton through organic practices earned 200 percent more net income than farmers who grew genetically engineered cotton (Bt cotton),” the report said.
The report ‘Picking Cotton - The choice between organic and genetically-engineered cotton for farmers in South India’ is a comparative analysis of the two methods of agriculture among cotton farmers in Andhra Pradesh.
The genetically engineered (GE) variety makes farmers more vulnerable to financial collapse due to high debts and increased costs of cultivation, it said.
“Our study illustrates how farmers growing GE cotton face high debts and high costs of cultivation, becoming more vulnerable to financial collapses,” Greenpeace International scientist and study author Reyes Tirado said.
Bt cotton (i) farmers not only use 26 different pesticides, including pesticides targeting pests that the GE cotton is supposed to control, but also lose financially due to their higher input costs, the report said.
In Andhra Pradesh, the cost of cultivation is much higher for Bt cotton farmers.
“The Bt cotton farmers incurred 65 percent higher debt - accumulated during 2008-09 and 2009-10 - than the non-Bt organic cotton farmers,” it said.
The farmer-distress in the state had led to the central government announcing a Rs.20,000 crore five-year relief package for farmers in 2008.
The report not only shows the economic benefits of ecological (organic) farming but also reveals that GE cotton, despite using many toxic pesticides, still has greater crop loss to pests.
The Greenpeace, which spearheaded the opposition to the introduction of Bt brinjal in India, demanded that the Indian government ban Bt cotton cultivation.
It also asked the government to take an active role in supplying sufficient quantity and quality of non-Bt seeds and support organic cotton farming.
- Organic cotton farming more profitable: Report (Lead) - Jun 15, 2010
- Bt cotton in India 'good for the field, bad for the farm' - Feb 08, 2011
- Probe agriculture ministry's role in clearing Bt Cotton: Parliament panel - Aug 12, 2012
- Maharashtra farmers welcome Bt cotton ban - Jul 12, 2012
- GM crops no longer safe from pests - Jun 21, 2012
- Vidarbha farmers, widows to 'mourn' decade of BT cotton - Mar 25, 2012
- Bt Cotton has created major pest problems in China - May 14, 2010
- Vidarbha farmers, widows 'mourn' decade of BT cotton (With Image) - Mar 26, 2012
- Parliamentary panel seeks probe into Bt Brinjal (Second Lead) - Aug 09, 2012
- Maharashtra bans Bt cotton seeds (Lead) - Aug 09, 2012
- Bio-technology the only way to combat world hunger: Experts - Oct 20, 2011
- GM corn helps protect non-engineered cousins: Study - Oct 08, 2010
- Bt Cotton has benefited farmers, raised yield: Study - Jun 07, 2012
- Assessment on Bt Brinjal wrong, hold its release: biosafety expert - Jan 12, 2010
- Uncommon furore over common brinjal - Feb 09, 2010
Tags: brinjal, bt cotton, cotton cultivation, cotton farmers, crop loss, financial collapse, ge cotton, ge variety, government ban, greenpeace, greenpeace report, indian government, input costs, international scientist, organic cotton, organic practices, picking cotton, south india, study author, toxic pesticides