When Arvind Shinde (name altered), a farmer from Aurangabad purchased a bag of HT cotton seeds from a trader, he was certain of finding a bumper crop. Even so, as seeds failed to germinate he realised that he was duped by the trader. But he could not sign-up a police grievance or method the Point out federal government for payment.

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

But Shinde nevertheless wishes to go in advance with HT cotton and Bt brinjal cultivation. “HT seeds will give bumper crop and will enable me to make some profit,” he states confidently. But it is not just Shinde, thousands of farmers are finding GM seeds in the marketplace and a lot of get duped.

Anil Ghanwat, President of Shetkari Sanghatana, the apex farmers’ overall body Maharashtra, alleges“Along with HT cotton, Bt brinjal, and now HT soya seeds are also in the black marketplace. The federal government has banned GM crops but GM seeds are obtainable in the marketplace and farmers are cultivating. About 25 per cent of Maharashtra’s cotton cultivation under HT cotton. There is a multi-crore marketplace that is operating in GM seeds and a lot of firms are by marketing spurious GM seeds.”

Ghanwat added, “ The only alternative to help you save farmers from bogus seed firms is to permit the cultivation of GM crop”.

Last calendar year the Union Ministry of Agriculture admitted in the Lok Sabha that several incidences of suspected open up cultivation of Bt brinjal and HT cotton have been noted in Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. The committee appointed by the Section of Biotechnology to examine the generation of Bt cotton seeds with unapproved genes uncovered unapproved cotton was developed, on an common, on fifteen per cent of the cotton-cultivable space in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana, and 5 per cent in Punjab in the course of the 2017-18 period.

Farmers allege a nexus of federal government officers, seed firms, traders and middlemen operating in Gujarat, Telangana and Maharashtra which is enabling promote of banned GM seeds.

“The Nationwide Seed Affiliation of India (NSAI) stands with India’s rules and not GM vigilantism. The unlawful spread of HT BT seeds is a destructive try to undermine our sovereignty and contaminate legal cotton seed enterprises. We stand for new engineering, but not by unlawful means” explained Indra Shekhar Singh, Director – Coverage and Outreach, NSAI.

He added, “ Our member firms have been the worst strike by this contamination, as fly-by-evening operators are sporadically planting HT seeds in their breeding fielding and hence generating them liable for criminal prosecution We have currently noticed situations in Maharashtra, Telengana, etc”. NSAI has appealed to the federal government yet again to get demanding steps towards these motivated brokers, and also set a new parameter for seed lot contamination. NSAI added that Indian seeds firms are the victims and not the culprits.