Study commissioned on biotech cotton crop failure in India

AHMEDABAD, India, November 5, 2003 -- CropChoice news -- The Times of India, 11/05/03: A team of agricultural scientists and government officials will soon visit the state to study the failure of the biotech cotton crop and especially in its 'fighting of pests'.

The secretary to the department of biotechnology, under the ministry of science and technology, said on Monday that the Centre would take further steps based on the report of this team.

The decision comes close on heels of the Sabarkantha MP Madhusudan Mistry's recent letter to the Centre, depicting the failure of cotton Bollguard-162's in his constituency.

In his letter, Mistry had pointed to the despair of Sabarkantha farmers after their BT cotton variety Bollguard-162, sold by Mahyco Monsanto Biotech India Ltd., failed miserably.

Mistry on Monday said the Mahyco-Monsanto had sold 1,04,031 packets of 400 grams seeds in Gujarat. Out of these 7,640 packets were sold in Sabarkantha, 15,921 packets in Rajkot, 28,348 packets in Bhavnagar and 11,564 packets in Amreli districts.

In order to make an effective and strong representation on this issue, a meeting of farmers growing BT cotton has been organized at Himmatnagar on November 15, he added.