INDIA: Bt cotton responsible for driving farmers to suicide

HYDERABAD: Bt cotton is responsible for the increased cost of farm production and indebtedness of farmers, leading them to end their life, environment activist Ms Vandana Shiva said here on May 18.

Further while addressing a press conference, Vandana called for a moratorium on cotton planting and an independent study of the socio, economic, environmental and health impacts of Bt cotton.

Ms Shiva was present in the city as part of three-State 'beej yatra' to promote 'desi seeds' and sustainable agriculture. It would also promote GMO-free, patent-free, debt-free and suicide-free zones in the country.

Further economist expressed concern over the proposed Seed Act, which might destroy native varieties and leave farmers completely dependent on unreliable genetically modified seeds from corporations like Monsanto as seed played an important role in farming activity.

Ms Shiva, who heads the Delhi based Navadanya Trust plans to launch a People's Knowledge Initiative in Agriculture to increase awareness on sustainable agriculture, genetically modified organisms and their impact on the environment.

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Added: May 19, 2006 Source: Agencies
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