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Maharashtra farmers sow illegal Bt brinjal, defy Centre’s fiat

Maharashtra farmers, below the aegis of Shetkari Sanghatana, activists and farmers launched a travel on Thursday to cultivate Bt brinjal from Ahmednagar district inspite of the genetically modified range not remaining accepted for professional cultivation.
The cultivation, which is unlawful considering the fact that it is unapproved by the nodal agency Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), was introduced on Thursday to protest against the Union Government’s slackness in approving new varieties of ban on genetically modified (GM) crops. The Centre has questioned State governments to crackdown on this sort of cultivation. 

Talking to reporters, Anil Ghanwat, President of Swatantra Bharat Bash – the political wing of Shetkari Sanghatana, informed reporters that throughout the entire world farmers are cultivating GM crops and benefiting from the most up-to-date technological innovation. Having said that, farmers in India are remaining denied the liberty of technological innovation.

Shetkari Sanghatana leaders said that Bt brinjal seeds in India are designed by an Indian enterprise with the assist of a farm varsity. Whilst this wide variety is but to be legalised in India, Bangladesh authorized it 7 many years back and its farmers are reaping the benefits of Bt brinjal cultivation, reported Ghanwat. On Thursday, Bt brinjal saplings were being planted in Ghanwat’s farmland in the existence of farmers and activists throughout the State. Shetkari Sanghatana President Lalit Bahale stated farmers are preventing for the independence to use the technology as GM crop is the long run for the farming group.

GM crop status

So much, the Union government has approved only the cultivation of non-foodstuff crop – cotton – between GM kinds. Given that 2006, no new wide range, like cotton, has been authorized by GEAC, the nodal company to distinct GM crops in the state. Introduction of new GM crops also endured a setback when the Supreme Court docket declared a 10-12 months- moratorium on cultivation of these types of varieties in 2009. However the moratorium finished in 2019, no application has been submitted for testing any new GM assortment. Besides Bt brinjal, farmers have also been cultivating herbicide tolerant Bt cotton and a new GM selection cotton dubbed as 4G.

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February 17, 2022