India: Nalgonda farmers vote for traditional agriculture, opposing Govt push for GM-crops Print E-mail

 Thursday March 27 2008

Andhra Pradesh - Nalgonda 

GM crops at receiving end

Staff Reporter

Meet decides to exert pressure on the Government against releasing Bt brinjal, Bt rice, etc.

Kavitha Kuruganti of Centre for Sustainable Agriculture at a meeting of farmers in Nalgonda on Wednesday (S. VENKATA RAMANA)

NALGONDA: Kavitha Kuruganti of the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture has asked the Government to scrupulously side with the farmers at this critical juncture.

The government seems to be promoting agri-business corporations rather than farmers. In fact, policy-makers want to emulate the western model of development and are seeking to displace crores of farmers from their land, culture and livelihood,” she said while addressing a meeting of farmers here on Wednesday.

Farmers at the meeting resolved against growing genetically modified crops.

They also decided to exert pressure on the government against releasing other GM crops like Bt brinjal, Bt rice, etc. An ad-hoc committee of 10 farmers -- District Vedika Committee -- was elected during the meeting held under the aegis of Sustainable Agriculture Farmers’ Forum (Susthira Vyavasaya Rythu Vedika).

Farmers like Kommu Narasaiah, Jayalakshmi, Gundi Kamalamma and Pandari reiterated that the vedika would ensure that farmers’ issues were addressed in a non-partisan manner.

They declared that they would fight against the anti-farmer policies of the government. Speaking on the occasion, K. Nimmaiah, Director, PEACE, said that going back to traditional agricultural practices and removing the dependence of farmers on external resources was the only way out. L V Prasad of Centre for World Solidarity elaborated the dangers posed to farmers’ rights from policies that are extending all-out support to SEZs.