Staff Reporter

Farmers’ meet lists the faults

Government urged to provide remunerative price

GM seeds likely to contaminate soil

PALAKKAD: A meeting of farmers organised by the Kerala Karshaka Sangom at the NGO Union Hall here on Friday has opposed the move to introduce Genetically Modified (GM) seeds in the fields of the district, known as the rice bowl of Kerala.

Inaugurating the meet, State joint secretary of the Sangom K.V. Ramakrishnan said that people should resist the move as laws are incapable of doing so. These seeds were brought here as part of an agreement which India signed. So only a people’s movement could stop its use in the country, he said.

Risks posed

Farmers should not use GM seeds as it would contaminate soil, pose risks to health and the environment and cause unknown disease to crops. He said that the GM seeds would destroy the varieties cultivated successfully by farmers for generations.

These seeds had not proved their suitability as food crops. Since they are monopolised by multinational companies the seeds could be bought only at a high price. Each time the farmer has to buy seeds from the company. He cannot make his own seeds as is the practice by the farmers here now.

Good price sought

Mr. Ramakrishnan urged the Government to provide remunerative price to farmers for their products so that they stick to the seeds currently in use instead of opting for GM variants.

The farmers meet was addressed by U. Usha of Thanal, scientists of Kerala Agriculture University V.R. Raghunandanan, Jiji Joseph, Vidaya Sagar and S. Prema. The meet was presided over by district president of Karshaka Sangom Sudhakaran. District secretary C.K. Rajendran welcomed the gathering.