This article deals with ‘BT Cotton – UPSC.’ This is part of our series on ‘Science and Technology’ which is important pillar of GS-3 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here
What is BT (Bacillus Thuringeinsis) ?
- BT is gram positive soil dwelling bacterium
- Commonly used as natural pesticide
- Bt refers to Bacillus Thuringienesis Soil Bacterium from which the genes are introduced in to the native cotton and brinjal varieties. BT gene produce a protein in the cotton crop that is toxic to the boll worms and stem borers (pests)
- This can be introduced in any crop like Cotton (Bt Cotton) , Brinjal (Bt Brinjal) etc.
- Government gave approval to grow Bt Cotton in 2002 & as a
witnessed an astounding revolution in the cotton sector, not seen for
- Cotton production saw 178% increase
- India emerged as largest global players in cotton. India is presently largest producer of cotton (surpassing China)
- Issue is, increasing farmer suicides in Karnataka, MP and Vidharbha region. Farmers are using expensive GM seeds in drought prone region
- There are other problems too –
- High input cost of seeds,
- Genetic erosion of local varieties,
- farmer’s dependence on private seed companies whose sole aim is profit maximisation.
Cotton plantations in various parts of the country have been hit due to
infestation of Pink
Bollworm (PBW). Reason :
- Absence of crop rotation
- Not growing 20-30% normal cotton along with BT Cotton