Scientists have certified Bt cotton seeds are of poor quality: Agriculture Minister

Agriculture Minister Krishna Bhairegouda speaking in the Council at Suvarna vidhan soudha in Belgaum on Tuesday. Photo: D.B. Patil

Agriculture Minister Krishna Bhairegouda speaking in the Council at Suvarna vidhan soudha in Belgaum on Tuesday. Photo: D.B. Patil  

‘In one case, a company has agreed to compensate loss incurred by growers’

Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda told the Legislative Council here on Tuesday that agriculture scientists have certified that Bt cotton seeds supplied by various companies to growers are of substandard quality.

Replying to Tara of the BJP, Mr. Krishna Byre Gowda said that in one case the company that supplied inferior quality seeds had agreed to compensate the loss incurred by growers.

The government had the power to blacklist such companies and seek compensation from them. “The government won’t stop from exercising its powers once the result of a survey being conducted by agricultural experts comes out,” he observed.

While conceding that it was difficult to find a permanent solution to the problem being faced by growers who have cultivated Bt cotton, he said that every support would be extended to farmers who wanted to take legal action against errant companies.

The government was still receiving complaints from growers who have cultivated Bt cotton and the authorities are looking into them. “Survey of areas from where complaints are being received will be completed in the next 15 days, and based on the survey report, action will be initiated,” he said.

Bt cotton had been grown in an area of 5.10 lakh hectares in 2013-14.

The area under cultivation has been high during this year compared to the previous two years (4.84 lakh hectares in 2011-12 and 4.25-lakh hectares in 2012-13), he said.

Growers from Belgaum, Haveri, Chitradurga, Davangere, Dharwad, Bellary and Gadag districts complained about crop loss under Bt cotton Kanaka-Nikiplus. Regarding Bt cotton crop loss, several rounds of meetings have been held with companies concerned at the government level to assist the farmers.

It was decided to constitute a joint survey team to assess the reasons and the extent of crop damage.

“The exact area of crop loss will be known only after the survey is completed,” he said.


To another question from Dayanand of the Congress, Mr. Krishna Byre Gowda said that Mahindra and Mahindra Limited and Captain Tractors Private Limited have been blacklisted for supplying poor quality combined harvesters and poor quality tractors.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 6:35:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/scientists-have-certified-bt-cotton-seeds-are-of-poor-quality-agriculture-minister/article5418433.ece

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