KRRS seeks compensation from seed companies for Bt Cotton crop loss

KRRS leader Amaranna Gudihal addressing presspersons in Raichur on Sunday. —PHOTO: SANTOSH SAGAR

KRRS leader Amaranna Gudihal addressing presspersons in Raichur on Sunday. —PHOTO: SANTOSH SAGAR  

‘More than 50 per cent of the crop destroyed due to pink bollworm pest attack’

The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) has demanded that the State government ensure that seed companies that had sold Bt Cotton seeds pay compensation to farmers who incurred heavy losses due to pest attack. KRRS State secretary Amaranna Gudihal told presspersons here on Sunday that more than 50 per cent of Bt Cotton crop was destroyed due to pink bollworm pest attack.

“Believing Bt Cotton’s pest resistance claims by seed producers, most of the cotton growers have cultivated Bt cotton this year. However, the crop was completely destroyed in pink bollworm attack in many parts of the State including Raichur, one of the major cotton-growing districts. As per our estimate, over 50 per cent of Bt Cotton in the State has been destroyed,” Mr. Gudihal said.

He also warned that the Bt Cotton farmers might take extreme steps such as committing suicide if the government did not intervene and ensure release of compensation. “Farmers have spent between Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 30,000 for cultivating Bt Cotton on each acre. The seed producing companies should be held responsible for the heavy losses and they should be compelled to pay compensation to the affected farmers. Two farmers — one in Raichur and other in Yadgir — have committed suicide after their Bt Cotton crop was completely destroyed in bollworm attack. If the government does not ensure release of compensation that is equal to at least the cost of cultivation, such suicides will rise in the days to come,” he said.

Slamming the Department of Water Resources for its “mismanagement” of water distribution along the Narayanpur Right-Bank Canal (NRBC) and Tungabhadra Left-Bank Canal (TLBC), Mr. Gudihal alleged that cotton, chilli, jowar, gram and other standing crops on vast tracts of land at tail-end areas of NRBC and TLBC were withering due to water shortage.

“There is enough water in Narayanpur and Tungabhadra reservoirs. Most of the water released by these dams was being grabbed by farmers at the upper reaches for unauthorised land causing severe shortage of water for the authorised land at the lower reaches. Standing crops on over 45,000 acres in Deodurg taluk alone are withering. Irrigation officials are not doing anything though they know everything,” he said.

Mr. Gudihal said that his organisation would mobilise farmers to hold a decentralised agitation outside the offices of Deputy Commissioners in district headquarters on Tuesday. Farmers' leaders Lakshman Gowda Kadagamdoddi, Huligeppa Jalibenchi, Mallanna Dinni, Narasappa Vakrani, and Doddabasavana Gowda Ballatagi were present.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 4:40:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/krrs-seeks-compensation-from-seed-companies-for-bt-cotton-crop-loss/article7985216.ece

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