Karnataka

KRRS seeks relief from seed companies for failure of Bt cotton

KRRS State president Chamarasa Malipatil addressing media persons in Raichuron Tuesday.— PHOTO: SANTOSH SAGAR

KRRS State president Chamarasa Malipatil addressing media persons in Raichuron Tuesday.— PHOTO: SANTOSH SAGAR  

Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) has asked the State government to ensure that Bt cotton companies pay compensation to farmers whose crops were destroyed by corn earworm across the State. Addressing a media conference here on Tuesday, State president of the organisation Chamarasa Malipatil said that nearly half of the Bt cotton crop was destroyed due to the Helicoverpa pest.

“At the time of introducing Bt cotton in India a few years ago, there was a big propaganda that it was pest-resistance. Now, we find that the genetically modified organism, Bt cotton, is vulnerable to corn earworm. An overwhelming majority of cotton growers have cultivated Bt cotton this time. Over 50 percent of cultivated Bt cotton of all brands have now been destroyed by the pest attack. The seed companies that sold Bt cotton seeds to farmers are liable to pay compensation and the government should ensure that they do,” he said. He added that vast tracts of Bt cotton fields in Andhra Pradesh were also destroyed by the corn earworm. He suspected that seed companies might have supplied substandard seeds to farmers in order to deal with growing cotton stock in the international market.

Mr. Malipatil alleged that neither the officials of the Department of Agriculture nor the agricultural scientists from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur, had paid any visits to the Bt cotton fields hit by the corn earworm. The farmers’ leader verbally attacked Power Minister D.K. Shivakumar for improper and insufficient power supply to irrigation pumpsets.

“The government had promised to provide three-phase power to irrigation pumpsets at least 8 hours a day. In reality, it is supplying less than two hours. Farmers are forced to sit near pumpsets waiting for the power,” he said. He warned that his organisation would call upon farmers to take power from Niranthara Jyothi villages to their pumpsets, if the government would not supply quality power.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2020 3:58:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/krrs-seeks-relief-from-seed-companies-for-failure-of-bt-cotton/article7939120.ece

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