India: Riled by adverse national impact of Bt cotton, farmers burn Maharashtra harvest
New Delhi -- Friday, May 12, 2006
Bt cotton cultivation: Ryots on the warpath
New Delhi, May 11: Concerned over the adverse impact of Bt cotton cultivation in the country, farmers burnt huge stacks of the harvest produced in Amravati region in Maharashtra.
According to a press release by Bharat Krishak Samaj, the farmers from the country’s cotton belt assembled in Panchavati Chowk, in Amravati, on Wednesday burnt huge stacks of Bt cotton before the statue of the country’s first agriculture minister Panjab Rao Deshmukh, who incidentally was also the founder president of the BKS, which is country’s largest farmers’ organisation.
BKS executive chairman Dr Krishan Bir Chaudhary said : "We had to take this step to bring to the knowledge of the government and biotech companies that farmers will no longer bear the injustice caused due to failure of Bt cotton."
The rally also had members from the Bija Yatra-Asha Yatra led Dr Vandana Shiva of the Delhi-based Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology (RFSTE). Dr Shiva also released an RFSTE study listing 40,000 cases of farmers' suicides, which occurred in the cotton belt of the country. She termed these as "deliberate genocide" caused by policies dictated by the multinationals, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the WTO.