`A strong change in the offing'
In an interview with Down To Earth, K R Kranthi, director, ICAR-Central Institute for Cotton Research, says he expects the demand for non-Bt and native cotton seeds to go up in the coming years. Excerpts
On cotton farmers switching to non-Bt crops:
For the first time in the past eight years, native varieties were sown in 72,280 hectares in the north zone of the cotton belt. The area would have been more, but seeds were in short supply. The turnaround was primarily because of the severe whitefly attack in 2015 and the leaf curl virus disease that these insects transmit.
On Bt cotton not able to fight pests:
denims and surgical cotton over spinning. Therefore the market is limited. Though the percentage increase in native and non-Bt area is less, it indicates a change in trend for the first time in several years. I can see a strong change in the offing over the next few years.
On GM mustard: