Monday, February 18, 2008
India is likely to grow genetically modified (GM) cotton on nearly 70 percent of its total cultivated area in the next 2-3 years, a global research body said on Feb, 18, 2008."In 2007, (Bacillus thuringiensis )Bt cotton area went up to 6.2 million hectares from 3.2 million hectares in2006,"Clive James, chairman of theInternational Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, told a news conference. The country, the world's second-biggest cotton producer, hopes to produce a record output of 31million bales (1 bale = 170 kg) in the crop year to September as farmers plant more transgenic seeds.Indian farmers, who grow cotton on an average 9.06 million hectares, produced 28 million bales last year.The study said that 3.8 million Indian farmers opted for Bt cotton in 2007 compared to 2.3 million in 2006.
"Rapid strides that India has made in cotton production since the country embraced BT cotton and the fact that it has overtaken the U.S. speak volumes about the technology," he said.According to ISAAA, an international NGO working for promotion of genetically modified (GM) crops, the global area under GM crops rose by 12 per cent at 114.3 million hectares in 2007 compared to 102 million hectare in the previous year.