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Pesticide use in Bt cotton: Dr. Keshav Kranthi

Dear Dr Ramanjaneyulu,

I have come across in some of your web sites A STATEMENT that there are unpublished data on pesticide usage on cotton which mention the source as Keshav Kranthi, and these are at variance with the pesticide use data.
Please find herewith a link to the published document
which has the table. I will stand completely by the pesticide use data presented in the document.
I compiled the data from various sources and databases. In my view, these represent the actual pesticide use scenario.
The recent increase in insecticide usage on cotton is also because of increase in area apart from the fact that several Bt-hybrids are susceptible to sucking pests. I preferred to present the pesticide situation in terms of the net value rather than the volumes. However, the data may need normalization in consonance with inflation rates.
The quantity of pesticide generally shown in litres or Kgs do not actually represent the correct trends. The new generation insecticides are recommended to be used at 100-200 ml per hectare with 10-50 gms active ingredient in them, as compared to the conventional insecticides which were used at 3-5 litres per hectare with 500 gm to 2 kg active ingredient. Insecticides such as BHC were recommended at 15 to 20 kg per hectare. Therefore, the net insecticide quantity per hectare would get reduced significantly, despite the fact that farmers may have spent more.
Insecticide usage on cotton in India 1999-2010 (Rs crores)

 

Year

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

% Bt Cotton

0.38

1.2

5.59

11.51

41.42

67.1

80.8

82.43

90.67

cotton, Insecticide

879

839

1052

597

925

1032

649

579

733

791

834

880

Cotton fungicide

11

10

6

3

8

6

8

11

25

31

52

67

Cotton herbicide

2

1

1

1

3

4

8

12

22

26

45

87

Total Insecticides in Agrl.

2128

2052

2268

1683

2146

2455

2086

2223

2880

3282

3909

4283

% share of cotton 41 41 46 35 43 42 31 26 25 25

21

21

Total Pesticides in Agrl.

3004

2972

3207

2622

3147

3581

2439

3396

4697

5293

6999

7684


Regards
Kranthi

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