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Bt gene harms GM plant: New answers to old questions on biosafety of GM crops

Author(s): G V RAMANJANEYULU Issue: Jun 30, 2011 G V Ramanjaneyulu Entomopathogenic bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and its toxins have been extensively used for pest control in agriculture and forestry and in public health programmes since the 1930s. At the core of such application are protein crystals that get synthesised when Bt cells develop spores. The proteins called Cry (from Crystal) are inimical to certain insect groups. Transgenic plants containing Bt genes, commercially available since the 1990s, are developed by transferring genes to produce specific Cry proteins like CryIAc and Cry2AB. It is presumed the genes perform the same function of producing the toxin in the plant as they […]

Dorli: A village which bought its future

In 2006, we were siting at Sevagram Ashram, Wardha to discuss about the problems with the rapidly expanding Bt cotton.  CSA was one year old and working with NGOs and activists was new for me.  We were shocked when heard that a village nearby was up for sale by farmers.  Mr. Vijay Jawandia, from Waifad near Wardha suggested that we all will visit the village.  Before that we heard some stories about village being sold in punjab…etc.  Some of us decided to go. By the time we reached the village it was 5.00 p.m in the evening. Entire village had signs of despair, farmers have left farming…caught in the debt […]

శాస్త్రీయ విధానంలో మద్దత్తు ధర (ఎంఎస్‌పి)

సెంటర్ ఫర్ సస్టైనబుల్ అగ్రికల్చర్, May 25th, 2011 వరిధాన్యానికి కనీస మద్దతు ధరను శాస్ర్తియ విధానంలో నిర్ణయిస్తేనే రైతులకు గిట్టుబాటు అవుతుంది. ప్రస్తుతం అవలంభిస్తున్న విధానం లోపభూయిష్టంగా ఉంది. దాంతో రైతులు ఆర్థికంగా కుంగిపోయి జీవిస్తున్నారు. వ్యవసాయ ఉత్పత్తుల ధరలను నిర్ణయించడానికి, వ్యవసాయేతర ఉత్పత్తుల ధరలు నిర్ణయించడానికి అసలు పొంతనే లేదు. ప్రస్తుత ధరలను 1997-98తో పోలిస్తే వ్యవసాయ ఉత్పత్తుల ధరలు కేవలం 25 శాతం పెరిగితే సిమెంట్, స్టీల్, ప్రాసెసింగ్ ఫుడ్ తదితర వస్తువుల ధరలు 300 నుండి 600 శాతం పెరిగాయి. ఇదే సమయంలో ఉద్యోగుల వేతనాలు 150 శాతం పెరిగాయి. రైతుల ఆదాయం మాత్రం పాతిక శాతం కూడా పెరగలేదు. పంటలకు పెట్టుబడులు పెరగడంతో పంటల ఉత్పత్తులకు లభిస్తున్న ధరలు గిట్టుబాటు కావడం లేదు. 2004-05లో క్వింటాల్ ధాన్యానికి పెట్టుబడి ఖర్చు 578 కాగా, అదే క్వింటాల్‌కు ఎంఎస్‌పి 560గా నిర్ణయించారు. 2010-11 సంవత్సరానికి క్వింటాల్ ధాన్యానికి పెట్టుబడి ఖర్చు 1500లకు పెరగగా, ఎంఎస్‌పి మాత్రం 1030గా నిర్ణయించారు. వాస్తవాలను పరిగణనలోకి […]

Supreme court order on Endosulfan

Supremecourt order on endosulfan issued on 13th May 2011 The supreme court came as a savior on the issue of endosulfan. Neither the Agriculture Department nor the Health department who are supposed to be the custodians of the people’s livelihoods and health have never bothered over this. Agriculture department particularly Minister for Agriculture went overboard to protect the interests of the Endosulfan manufacturers.  Hope this two month ban and subsequent actions will lead to a permanent ban on Endosulfan.  for more info on the endosulfan related issue visit  

Seed Bill 2010: Sharad Pawar sides industry

a. Price and royalty regulation is not possible as it is disincentive to pvt seed industry. Govts stated objective is to encourage private sector. Royalty regulation and price regulation is not the objective of the bill. govt is saying earlier bill also do not have price regulation, but seed control order under essential commodities act had the provision. this bill repeals that. b. allowing pvt seed testing labs : in place of Truthful Labeling of seed, govt is making certification compulsory by accredited govt and semi govt agencies. provision is also made for private seed testing agencies acredited and similarly foreign certifying agencies are also allowed. c. import of commercial seed is allowed d. […]

Update on Seed bill 2004

After 1990s with increasing role of private sector in seed sector, farmers dependency on market has increased. this became rapid with MNCs stepping in and their activities like acquisitions, mergers, forming cartels have further worsend the situation. the advent of GM gave further control in the form of proprietary technologies and sublicenses.  in the last five years the situation has changed very fast and newer issues have come to forefront. when the seed bill 2004 was introduced many of us have responded to the bill. at that time protecting farmers rights in terms of saving, reusing, exchanging and selling seeds was the main focus which was accepted by the govt […]

Seed Bill 2010: Its time for introducing price and royalty regulation

In the last five years, AP State Government has faced serious problems with the Seed Companies in regulating the Seed sale in the state in fulfilling its objective of helping farmers to have timely access to good quality seed in adequate quantities. in 2005 after a large scale cotton seed failure in Warangal dist, after establishing failure state govt asked Mahyco to pay compensation and company refused to pay and moved to AP high court on paying compensation saying state govt is harrasing them. AP high court orders also were in fav of mahyco and till date company never paid the compensation in 2006 after MRTP commission asked to reduce […]

At Farm's hand At farm’s hand An assured income for farmers will make agriculture viable and ensure food security In his budget speech finance minister Pranab Mukherjee claimed that agriculture, services, manufacturing along with trade and construction were drivers of the country’s growth in the past few years. But actually agriculture should not be slotted in the same bracket as manufacturing and services. Agricultural growth averaged 2.5 per cent in the past five years. This pales in comparison to the 10 per cent growth achieved by manufacturing and services in the same period.Agriculture, in fact, touched a terrible low between 1997 and 2008 with 182,936 farmers committing suicide—according to government records. The […]

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