Non-Bt farmers earn more profits in AP

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Hyderabad, May 10 (UNI) Farmers cultivating Cotton with non Bt seeds have earned 10 per cent more net profits compared to Bt farmers in Andhra Pradesh, according to a study conducted by Deccan Development Society (DDS) and Andhra Pradesh Coalition in Defence of Diversity (APCDD).

Addressing the press here, DDS President and APCDD Convenor P V Satheesh said the study found that Bt farmers suffered 10 per cent returns in comparison to the non-Bt farmers practising Non Pesticidal Methods (NPM).

Bt farmers had to invest 18 per cent more on pest management than the NPM farmers, contrary to the Bt industry promise that it would reduce the cost of pesticide use. The Bt farmers had to invest 9 per cent more for cultivating Cotton as agaisnt the NPM farmers.

The Bt farmers earned Rs 6,382 per acre in 2007-08 while the non-Bt peasants have earned Rs 7,046, Mr Satheesh said, adding Bt farmers earned just 5 per cent more higher yields inspite of spending 9 per cent more on total investments.

He said the study was conducted in Nalgonda, Warangal and Adilabad districts for the last five years where Bt Cotton cultivation was introduced in 1999. He demanded that the state government must conduct an independent study on the impact of Bt cotton cultivation on the farmers' livelihood.

The impact of Bt cotton cultivation was confined to low yield and sheep and buffaloes died after being fed dry Bt cotton stalks. The farmers were also facing health problems like skin allergies.

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