The Coalition for GM Free Karnataka Movement demanded that the government take punitive action against Mahyco, which Bt cotton seeds failed to give yield once again this year.

Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene have said that they will launch “direct action” against Monsanto if the State government fails to initiate criminal proceedings against the multi-national company for allegedly supplying spurious Bt cotton seeds under the brand name, Mahyco, to growers this year.

Also, the Coalition for GM Free Karnataka Movement demanded that the government take punitive action against Mahyco, which Bt cotton seeds failed to give yield once again this year.

Releasing a report from a fact-finding committee here on Tuesday, and quoting from the report, KRRS president Kodihalli Chandrashekhar said that the government should not only initiate criminal proceedings but also blacklist Monsanto and ensure that the company compensated losses to growers at the rate of Rs. 60,000 per acre at the earliest. Otherwise, the government would only be forcing farmers to resort to “direct action” against the company.

He said that the Coalition for GM Free Karnataka had launched the fact-finding committee by experts, including H.R. Prakash, an expert on cotton, and others from KRRS and Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture.

The committee members carried out field studies in Haveri and Davangere districts for five days last month. During their study, they observed that Mahyco Bt cotton Kanaka variety seeds fully failed to yield in both the districts resulting in both investment and yield losses.

He said that Monsanto purchased Mahyco a few years ago and continued to supply seeds under the brand name, Mahyco, as the brand had gained popularity over a period.

As seeds supplied by the company turned out to be spurious, the company should be held responsible and made accountable by way of distributing compensation to the affected farmers.

Of the 5.32 lakh acres under cotton this year, Bt cotton was taken up in nearly 5.12 lakh acres, all of which failed to yield.

Mr. Chandrashekar criticised the scientists in agriculture universities and research institutions for advocating Bt cotton seeds only to serve the interests of multi-national companies at the cost of seed sovereignty of the country. None of the agriculture universities in the State had ventured to develop native variety after the release of the DCH 32 variety about three decades ago.

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