Study: Benefits in Punjab due to BT Cotton adoption

As per recent study in Punjab, adoption of BT cotton in Punjab has resulted in net economic and environmental benefits.

About BT Cotton

BT cotton is a genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically modified pest resistant plant cotton variety. It produces an insecticide to combat bollworm. BT toxins are insecticidal to larvae of moths, butterflies, cotton bollworms, beetles and flies. Commercial cultivation of BT cotton (Bacillus thuringiensis cotton) began in 2002 after Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) approved it. Its cultivation was started in 2002 in western and southern parts of the country. it was introduced by joint venture between Monsanto and Mahyco. India grew the largest GM cotton crop in 2011 at 10.6 million hectares.

BT cotton in Punjab

BT cotton was released for cultivation in Punjab in 2005. Even before it was released, 72% farmers were growing BT Cotton on 22% of cotton area.

Study: Success of BT in Punjab

Research conducted the study funded by Agricultural Extension Division of Indian Council of Agricultural Research under extramural project “Impact evaluation of integrated pest management technologies”. Study found that, since the commercialization of BT cotton,

  1. Insecticide use by volume & applications, environmental & human health impact associated with insecticide use and use of highly hazardous & riskiest insecticides has reduced over time.
  2. Expenses associated with insecticide use has also reduced.
  3. Cotton yields in the past 13 years have been stable, except in 2015.

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