Flourishing trade in spurious GM seeds adds to farmers’ woes

Elvera Bartels

When Arvind Shinde (name improved), a farmer from Aurangabad acquired a bag of HT cotton seeds from a trader, he was absolutely sure of getting a bumper crop. Having said that, as seeds failed to germinate he realised that he was duped by the trader. But he could not register a police criticism or technique the State government for compensation.

Bt cotton is the only Genetically Modified crop accredited for commercial cultivation in India and, thus, cultivation of other unapproved GM crops is banned.

But Shinde nevertheless desires to go forward with HT cotton and Bt brinjal cultivation. “HT seeds will give bumper crop and will enable me to gain some revenue,” he suggests confidently. But it is not just Shinde, countless numbers of farmers are getting GM seeds in the current market and many get duped.

Anil Ghanwat, President of Shetkari Sanghatana, the apex farmers’ body Maharashtra, alleges“Along with

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