Three days before the Centre’s possible announcement over its decision on Bt Brinjal, Madhya Pradesh Agriculture Development Minister Ramkrishna Kusumaria on Sunday reiterated that genetically modified (GM) crops have no place in the state.

“I have already written a letter to the Centre against the commercialisation of Bt Brinjal in country as it wasn’t good for human health and environment”, the Minister told PTI.

“We want to make Madhya Pradesh, the country’s first model organic farming state,” Mr. Kusmaria added. He said that the state government has prepared a detailed organic farming policy and it will be announced in a week or two.

Organic farming was being carried out in 4.25 lakh hectares of area, he said, adding there was a need to increase this area.

Mr. Kusumaria said chemical fertilisers and pesticides have affected cultivable land over the past 30 to 40 years.

Meanwhile Organic Farming Association of India’s (OFAI) Northern India Unit Director Bhartendu Prakash has claimed that the productivity of fertile land in Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh has dipped following the unchecked use of chemical fertilisers. “A wrong impression is being created that the country can’t strengthen its food security without the help of GM crops and chemical fertilisers,” Mr. Prakash told PTI.

“We have to decide whether we need good organic farming produce or poisonous crops?” he quipped.

He said the OFAI was ready to provide labelling facility to the organic farming produce which in turn will benefit the consumers.