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<i>Bt</i> cotton reduced pesticide use in India

The cultivation of genetically modified insect-resistant Bt cotton in India has reduced pesticide usage in cotton by 39%, and increased yields by 31% and profitability for farmers by over 80%. This information was provided to the Indian Parliament by the Minister of State for Agriculture, Professor K V Thomas. The area under Bt cotton has risen from 29,000 ha in 2002 to some 8 million ha in 2009. The Minister said that detailed studies revealed that the threat of bollworms has reduced significantly all over the country. The research was conducted by the Central Institute for Cotton Research (Nagpur) in collaboration with the state agricultural universities of the nine major cotton growing states in India. Bt cotton was approved in India in early 2002 ( Agrow No 398, p 20).



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