Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) has asked the state government to make sure that Bt cotton companies aptly compensate farmers whose crops were destroyed by corn earworm across the state. Addressing a media conference, state president of the organisation Chamarasa Malipatil said that nearly half of the Bt cotton crop was destroyed due to the Helicoverpa pest.
“At the time of introducing Bt cotton in India a few years ago, there was a big propaganda that it was pest-resistance. Now, we find that the genetically modified organism, Bt cotton, is vulnerable to corn earworm. A vast majority of cotton growers cultivated Bt cotton this time and over 50 per cent of cultivated Bt cotton of all brands have now been destroyed by the pest attack. The seed companies that sold Bt cotton seeds to farmers are liable to pay compensation and the government should ensure that they do,” he said.
He also informed that Bt cotton fields in Andhra Pradesh were also destroyed by the corn earworm, suspecting sub-standard supply of seeds by the seed companies. Malipatil further said that no officials of the Department of Agriculture or the agricultural scientists from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur visited the Bt cotton fields hit by the corn earworm to take stock of the situation. Talking about the power shortage, he also warned that his organisation would direct farmers to take power from Niranthara Jyothi villages to their pumpsets, if the government doesn’t act upon the issue immediately.