Crop Biotech Update

Bt Cotton Technology Attracting Younger Farmers to Farming in India, Reports Survey

December 18, 2013

Contrary to the perception that young farmers are abandoning active farming, the survey conducted by the Indian Society for Cotton Improvement (ISCI) demonstrates that Bt cotton technology has attracted young farmers to cotton farming in the country. "More than 50% of respondent Bt cotton farmers were from the lower middle age group ranging from 21 to 40 years with a mean average age of 42 years for all respondents in the three surveyed States," noted the report.

The survey report "The Adoption and Uptake Pathways of Bt Cotton in India" co-authored by Dr. C.D. Mayee and Bhagirath Choudhary. The report is the result of the largest and most comprehensive survey involving 2,400 Bt cotton farmers from India.

In his foreword letter, Dr. S. Ayyappan, DG ICAR referred to the survey as "the first authentic account of field realities that is extremely useful in formulating models of technology transfer for cutting edge technologies which are knocking at the door of farmers".

The survey confirmed the unprecedented wide-spread planting of Bt cotton, occupying ~95% of total cotton area, in the rainfed, semi-irrigated and irrigated areas, which has taken place during the last 8-9 years in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, and 6-7 years in Punjab. Recognizing the importance of knowledge sharing as a critical component of technology adoption and dissemination in rural areas, the survey calls on the Central/State(s) government in India to educate and empower small holder farmers by launching a nation-wide campaign of "An Alert Farmer is An Affluent Farmer".

The ISCI survey report  "Adoption and Uptake Pathways of Bt Cotton in India" is available in the form of executive summary and full report at ISAAA, CIRCOT and CICR websites; ISCI Bt cotton survey Executive Summary: www.isaaa.org/india ISCI Bt cotton survey Full Report: www.isaaa.org/india You can obtain a hard copy of ISCI survey report by placing an order to: charumayee@yahoo.co.in or b.choudhary@cgiar.org.