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BT cotton an official writeoff

(Monday, Jan. 27, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- S. Ramu, Financial Times Information Limited, 01/25/03 via Agnet: Belying the claims of the Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech (India), Agriculture Department officials have, according to this story, made it clear that Bt cotton is a disappointment in the district and they have informed the same to the State Government in a special report.

The story says that at a meeting at the Joint Director's office here on Saturday, Divisional Assistant Directors of the department said that the cotton variety had failed to yield desired results.

Interestingly, some of them felt that other hybrid varieties fared better than the Bt seed.

Taking to The Hindu , the JD, M. Laxman Rao, was quoted as saying, "The seed did not have the impact as it was propagated. It has failed to show good results in the yield as well as in pest control."

As many as 359 farmers of the district opted for the controversial cotton variety to wipe out the debts at one go but the reality has proved disastrous. In all, the seed was sown on nearly 250 acres mainly in Halia, Kodad and Suryapet divisions, according to officials. The Mahyco allocated 600 packets of MECH-162 variety to the district out of which 140 were sold in Nakrekal and each 30 in Kodad and Nalgonda.

In tune with an order of the Commissioner and Director of Agriculture, the ADAs prepared a report with farmer-wise details on the performance of the Bt cotton and submitted it to the JD's office.