Bt cotton fails, AP govt takes on biotech company
ASHOK B SHARMA
HYDERABAD, JAN 8: The Andhra Pradesh government has threatened that it would take steps to get licence given to Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech cancelled if the company did not compensate the loss incurred by farmers on account of failure of Bt cotton in the 2004 kharif (summer) season.
The state government had asked the company to compensate the growers on account of failure of Mech 162 Bt, Mech 184 Bt and Mech 12 Bt in 2004 kharif season.
As per the MoU signed with the company by the state government, the company is obliged to compensate the growers on account of crop failure. As the company did not compensate the loss incurred by farmers, the government filed a suit against them in the AP High Court.
If the company does not compensate the farmers by the end of the current cotton marketing season, we will take steps to cancel the accorded licence for sale of seeds, said N Raghuveera Reddy, the state agriculture minister.
In this context, the minister also admitted receiving some adverse reports about performance of Bt cotton. He said, “We sent a team of scientists from the agricultural universities to verify the situation. They found occurrence of tobacco streak virus in cotton fields. This virus usually occurs on groundnut and sunflower crops and not on cotton.”