Textile & Fashion

Hard to say Bt cotton crop yield loss is due to pink bollworm attack: FSII


NEW DELHI:  FSII the seed industry body said that it was not fair on the part of Maharashtra government to held them responsible for the losses incurred due to pink bollworm attack on Bt cotton this kharif season. According to FSII the government made this announcement without any proper assessment.

“It is unfair and breach of principles of natural justice to hold seed companies responsible based on media reports", declared the Federation of Seed Industry of India (FSII) in a statement.

They also wrote a letter addressing both Centre and the Maharashtra government expressing their concern over the problems faced by the farmers. But also highlighted that the industry might have to close down if the seed firms is asked to reimburse for the losses.

"It is very difficult to establish that yield loss, if any, is due to attack of pink bollworm. It is an established scientific fact that crop yields depend on multiple factors. You are also aware of rampant cultivation of illegal GM cotton in Maharashtra this year. All these factors might have contributed to any possible yield losses," it said.

The letter also said, "It is a scientific fact that when one pest goes down due to very good control by a pesticide or a GM trait, it is natural for the other pests to increase due to lack of competition. This is true in all living beings including microbes and insects. Increase in pink bollworm is essentially due to lack of competition from other bollworms.”

The FSII is a research based seed and seed technology association that provides high-quality of seeds to the farmers. More than 10 of the companies associated with the association looked after 40-45 percent of hybrid Bt cotton seeds in kharif season of 2017.

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