India: Following failure in Andhra Pradesh, Bt cotton hits the dust in Tamil Nadu Print E-mail

Friday January 5, 2007


Bt cotton crop fails in Tamil Nadu

CHIDAMBARAM, JAN 4:  After Andhra Pradesh, it is now Tamil Nadu where the much hyped Bt cotton seeds of Mahyco has run into rough weather. The Tamil Nadu government has asked Mahyco to pay compensation to farmers for failure of Bt cotton in the state in the current season.

Bt cotton crop has failed in Dharampuri, the major producing district in the state. The farmers and the local NGO Pasumai Vakatan had complained to the district collector and subsequently to the joint director for agriculture in charge of Dharampuri, Duraisamy.

Duraisamy had on December 22, 2006 asked the scientists at Coimbatore Agriculture University to verify the fact. The scientists conducted tests on the soil where the crops were planted and took samples of the seeds sown.

Speaking over the phone the Tamil Nadu agriculture minister Veera Pandi Arumugam confirmed reports and told FE, "The authorities had informed me that improper seeds only had caused all the problems. I had talked to the chief minister immediately and I had ordered that the said company should not sell any type of seeds in Tamil nadu. We had advised the company to pay compensation to the affected farmers. So the farmers need not be worried."

The minister further added, "We have formed a cell to safeguard the interests of farmers under the leadership of the chief minister. Experts from various sections of agriculture ministry shall be in the cell. They shall watch out for the problems of farmers and keep submitting solutions for the problems. On the whole, our objective is there should not be any problem to the farmers."