Action on Genetic Engineering
With the promise higher productivity and reduced pesticide use in cotton, the Genetic Engineering technology was introduced in India in 2002 through Bt cotton. The GE technology neither increased the productivity nor reduced the use of pesticides. In contrary, it destroyed all local cotton varieties and made the farmers completely depend on multinational seed companies for their seed needs. Thousands of goats and livestock that grazed the Bt cotton leaves died. As the pests develop resistance to Bt cotton and the emergence of super pests and super weeds have increased the pesticide use and subsequently the costs of farming has increased. Farmers are forced to buy loans from local money lenders at high interest rates. Due to successive crop failures farmers are not able to repay the loan. Pressure from money lenders results in large numbers of farmers in committing suicide.
The State government is ignoring many of the problems and risks with the GE technology. The issue of GM crops intensified with the GM food crops being introduced in India through allowance from the state for commercial cultivation of Bt Brinjal. Thanks to the movement opposing this decision is was changed and cultivation of Bt Brinjal is for the moment stopped.
In the above context, Kudumbam is working within the network SAGE (Southern Action on Genetic Engineering) with citizens in democratizing the debate on the looming threats in South India for safer food and environment. This is done by creating awareness among the public, and to establish alternatives for seed saving and seed exchange among farmers. Actions are also taken to influence and achieve changes in policies. Kudumbam is the facilitator for Tamil Nadu level activities along with other partners like Vanagam, Women’s Collective and CREATE.
no: 113/118 Sundarraj Nagar
Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: (+91) 0431-2331879
Monday to saturday - 10 AM to 5:30 PM
Sunday - Closed
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