Farmers meet environment minister, urge him to start GM crop trials

While submitting a memorandum in support of their demands, a delegation of farmers that met the environment minister, Mr Prakash Javadekar, lauded his ‘Science cannot be stopped’ remark


In support of GM crops, Farmer leaders met environment minister, Mr Prakash Javdekar in Delhi.

Farmer leaders from 10 states on Friday lauded union environment minister, Prakash Javadekar's bold statement that science cannot be stopped and urged him to expedite the field trials of GM crops to ensure farmers prosperity. Farmers from National Farmers Empowerment Initiative (NFEI), an umbrella organization of various farmer organizations from across the country, also submitted a signed petition to Shri Javadekar.

"Allow us to take this opportunity to congratulate you for making a bold statement that "Science cannot be stopped" and clearly showcasing the need to allow scientific trials of GM crops. This has rekindled Indian farmers' hopes of receiving new technologies in our fields," the petition said.

Punjab farmer leader Mr PPS Pangli, president of NFEI said, "We fear that a moratorium on research into biotechnology will ultimately have a ruinous effect on us farmers, as we will be denied crucial technology that will enable us to better our lives."

"While our agricultural production has increased, our population has increased too. However, the amount of land we have to cultivate crops will not increase. The amount of water we have to nourish these crops will not increase either. Over the next decade, climate change will result in more pressure on farmers to get a good yield, with unpredictability in weather playing havoc with India's historically rain-fed agricultural system," informed NFEI vice presidents and leaders from Telangana and Maharashtra respectively, Mr S Jaipal Reddy and Mr Gunwantrao Patil.

The petition added, "Till the 1960s, India's farmers were growing straight varieties of crops, using manure and other traditional means to enrich the soil. The fruits of their labour, however, fell far short of meeting the needs of the country. The introduction of high yielding hybrid seeds, advanced technology in the 60s, changed the face of Indian agriculture forever. With hybrid seeds came the combination use of modern fertilizers and irrigation techniques to optimize yields, and India's farmers have not looked back since then."


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