`A strong change in the off­ing'

Down to Earth - - COVER STORY -

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:

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