Flourishing trade in spurious GM seeds adds to farmers’ woes

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,

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