Following the advent of Bt-cotton, India has become a net exporter of cotton from a net importer, a study conducted by Council of Social Development has said. Between 2002-2009, the cotton exports increased by over 75 per cent and the cotton area grew by 4.91 per cent, farmers organisation Bharat Krishak Samaj, which commissioned the study, said.
“India's share in the value of exports increased from 0.75 per cent in 2000 to 10.53 per cent in 2009. It was also observed that pre-Bt Cotton period cotton exports in quantity terms were minus 24.6 per cent and in value terms it was minus 21.3%”, points out Samaj Chairman Ajay Vir Jakhar while revealing the findings of a study titled ‘Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of Bt cotton in India’ recently.
The study was conducted across nine major cotton growing states, including 1,050 farmers and 300 agricultural labourers. He said, “With the cultivation of Bt-Cotton in 2002-03, the growth rate of cotton area, production and yield between 2002 and 2011 increased by 4.91, 9.25 and 4.95 per cent, respectively.” The highest average yields of cotton, over the last three years were seen in Tamil Nadu at 943.67 kg per hectare, followed by Gujarat at 659.33 kg per hectare.
He further added that through the cultivation of hybrid Bt-cotton seeds, the average income of farmers increased by a whopping 375 per cent and 99 per cent of the farmers surveyed in the study said yields from hybrid Bt cotton seed were ‘higher’ than non-Bt cotton.