Monthly Archives: March 2012

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A bonanza for Tamil Nadu farm sector

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, The Hindu, March 27, 2012 Rs.3,800 crore allocated; crop loan target raised Even as the State government set an ambitious food grain production target of 120 lakh tonnes for the next financial year, it has allocated over Rs.3,800 crore for the agriculture sector, said to be the highest ever in the State budget. Besides, the target for crop loans to be disbursed through the co-operative sector has been raised from Rs.3,000 crore to Rs.4,000 crore, which will be interest-free if repaid promptly. State Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam, in his budget speech on Monday, said that even during 2011-12, the government had an ambitious target of 115 lakh tonnes […]

Protests mark 10th anniversary of Bt cotton S & T » Agriculture NEW DELHI, March 27, 2012 Gargi Parsai The Hindu File photo shows Bt cotton hybrid Brahma BG-II raised by South India Cotton Association and Monsanto in Coimbatore for demonstration. Activists charge seed companies, mainly Monsanto, with monopoly Protests marked the 10th anniversary of the introduction of genetically modified (GM) Bt cotton in the country. Angry farmers urged parliamentarians to hold a special session to discuss the issue and ban the technology. Charging a few seed companies, particularly Monsanto, with monopolising the seed industry and setting the agenda for the government, social activists urged policy-makers and farmers to reject the hype around Bt cotton and demanded a comprehensive review. […]

Agriculture gets highest ever allocation in Tamil Nadu CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu has set an ambitious foodgrains production target of 120 lakh tonnes for the coming financial year despite the damage to crops due to the Cyclone Thane and floods this year. The budget estimates that foodgrains production will be 105 lakh tonnes during 2011-12 as against a projected 115 lakh tonnes. However, former Union revenue secretary and finance secretary to the Madhya Pradesh government, M R Sivaraman told TOI that the projected 15% jump in foodgrains production would be a tall order. While the budget has provided 500 crore for the system of Serial Rice Intensification (SRI) to cover an extended area of 27.55 lakh acres, there is a problem as […]

With profits heading southward, Gujarat cotton farmers interest wilts In the last decade, cotton prices have seen lots of volatility. However, earnings and margins for cotton farmers in the state have been continuously shrinking in last four to five years. In 2002-03, when BT cotton was introduced, prices of Shankar 6 variety, also known as Gujarat cotton, shot up from around Rs17,000 per candy (350 kg each), to Rs60,000 last year. While this year, prices tumbled down to around Rs37,000 per candy. “Due to rise in inflation rate, the cost of fertilizers, seeds and labour has increased more than double. On other side, the cotton yield in some regions of Gujarat has declined by 30%. In certain areas […]

Be an organic farmer

SUJATA C GREEN PRACTICES: For health. Photo: The Hindu Photo Library Let your garden go green…no, not in colour but environmentally. Use organic pesticides instead of the chemical ones, as these are more beneficial in the long run. We all love playing in the garden, digging the soil, playing in dirt, watering plants, making scarecrows and so on. Well, you must have noticed how vexed your mom or dad gets when they notice insects and pests thriving on plants and in soil. You could make some soil-friendly pesticide for your garden. Wondering what that is — well, normal pesticides are chemical based. Chemical pesticides kill the pests no doubt, […]

Bt cotton benefits only false hype, say NGOs

HYDERABAD, MARCH 26: A group of farmers’ associations and non-governmental organisations have asked the Government to conduct a comprehensive, independent review of 10 years of Bt cotton in India. This study is very important as efforts are on to bring biotechnology in other crops in the country. They have termed the claims made by seed firms and agri-biotechnology firms on purported benefits of Bt cotton as false hype. “Government agencies should stop promoting Bt cotton and revive non-Bt seed production to make traditional seed available for farmers The Government should clearly educate farmers about the unsuitability and problems of Bt cotton particularly in rain-fed areas,” Mr G V Ramanjaneyulu of […]

On 10th anniversary of Bt Cotton, Farmer Unions, Scientists and Social activists reject the False Hype and Failed Promises

Rytu Swarajya Vedika & Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) Press Release Hyderabad, 26/03/2012  Roundtable meeting demands comprehensive review of Bt Cotton On the 10th anniversary of introduction of Bt cotton in India, the Roundtable meeting and press conference organized by Rytu Swarajya Vedika and Centre for Sustainable Agriculture exposed the false hype and failed promises of Bt cotton. The Roundtable, which was attended by farmer union leaders, scientists and representatives of people’s organizations, came out with a consensus that “the Government, legislators, policy-makers, farmer organizations and media should reject the false hype about Bt cotton, closely examine the crisis in the cotton belt and critically re-assess the 10 years of Bt cotton. […]

Bt cotton to blame for falling yield, say farmers of Gujarat Source: Himansh Dhomse, DNA   |   Last Updated 06:01(26/03/12) Ahmedabad: Are genetically modified (GM) seeds the real culprit behind the fall in yield of cotton crops? Farmers and economists seem to think so. It has been 10 years since genetically-modified Bt cotton was first introduced in the country. The yield of cotton rose to a peak in the first four years of the last decade but declined later. On Monday, Bt cotton will complete 10 years in this country as it was on March 26, 2002, that the central government’s Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) approved three Bt cotton hybrids for use by Indian farmers. Subsequently, Bt seeds […]

To fix BPL, nix CPL : P. Sainath

The Hindu To get the Below Poverty Line figures in perspective, we need to closely monitor the numbers driving the Corporate Plunder Line. One Tendulkar makes the big scores. The other wrecks the averages. The Planning Commission clearly prefers Suresh to Sachin. Using Professor Tendulkar’s methodology, it declares that there’s been another massive fall in poverty. Yes, another (“more dramatic in the rural areas”). “Record Fall in Poverty” reads one headline. The record is in how many times you’ve seen the same headline over the years. And how many times poverty has collapsed, only to bounce back when the math is done differently. Download PDF And so, a mere 29.9 […]

Ministry blames bt cotton for farmer suicides India’s Bt cotton dream is going terribly wrong. For the first time, farmer suicides, including those in 2011-12, have been linked to the declining performance of the much hyped genetically modified (GM) variety adopted by 90% of the country’s cotton-growers since being allowed a decade ago. Policymakers have hailed Bt cotton as a success story but a January 9 internal advisory, a copy of which is with HT, sent out to cotton-growing states by the agriculture ministry presents a grim scenario. “Cotton farmers are in a deep crisis since shifting to Bt cotton. The spate of farmer suicides in 2011-12 has been particularly severe among Bt cotton farmers,” says the […]

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