India, Andhra Pradesh, moving from GMO and pesticide cotton to sustainable, organic farming

May 9, 2015

Paraphrase: In what may be the pesticide capital of the world, the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, pests developed insecticide resistance and genetically modified (GM) cotton failed to live up to Monsanto’s promises. Farmers faced catastrophic losses, triggering thousands of suicides, and many then began to move in another direction. Now, almost two thousand villages are embracing community-managed sustainable farming using natural pest controls, not purchased chemicals, and are enjoying improved incomes and health. ---minister of ag has become supporter; the plan is to have 2.5 million acres uner community-mananged sustainable ag within a few years. [p29] .... "it was clear that the move from food crops to cash crops hmade the farmers much more vulnerable than they had been in the past. ...yields about the same but non-pesticide management (using natural methods) had about 18 higher income [p28] 3512.60 rupees, vs 286a.5- rupees ... chart in the middle of the village shows the breakdown... -- first year often showed higher yields with bt cotton but btcotton soon became less resistant to disease and bad weather MALLIAH, A FAMER IN THE ORGANIC VILLAGE OF YENABAVI, ANDHRA PRADESH: "Last year we had a three-month drought. Most of my crops survived whereas those of farmers using chemicals died." --- LAKSHMINAYAK THANDA, ANOTHER VILLAGE IN WARANGEL DISTRICT. "Some of the goats in the village died after grazing on a Bt cotton field after the harvest, "she said. ..."Weve all been feeling so much better since we stopped using them [pesticides]. We also spend much less on medical care. Altogether I'm feeling much happier now." Sattemma, prez of women's self help group] p. 28

 

Source: "Saying "No" to Chemical Farming in India," Seedling, July 2008,pp 27-29.

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