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Crop Biotech Update

ISAAA Produces Infographic on "7 Wonders of Bt Cotton"

April 2, 2014

ISAAA produced an infographic on Bt cotton manifesting the "7 wonders of the Bt cotton" and drawing the key trends in cotton sectoral transformation in India. It is based on the major findings of a report that is a result of the largest and most comprehensive survey involving 2,400 Bt cotton farmers across the three agro-ecologically distinct cotton growing states. The survey focused on 1,000 farmers of rainfed cotton in Vidharbha districts of Maharashtra in Central zone, 1,000 farmers of semi-irrigated cotton in Andhra Pradesh in Southern zone and 400 farmers of fully irrigated cotton area of Punjab in Northern cotton growing zone of the country. The report, published by the Indian Society for Cotton Improvement (ISCI), "The Adoption and Uptake Pathways of Bt Cotton in India" co-authored by Dr. CD Mayee and Bhagirath Choudhary is supported by the John Templeton Foundation.

Recognizing the importance of knowledge sharing as a critical component of technology adoption, dissemination, farm prosperity and poverty alleviation in rural areas, the latest infographic on Bt cotton manifests the "7 wonders of the Bt cotton" in India:

1) Bt cotton technology attracted young farmers to cotton farming, with more than 50% of the surveyed farmers coming from the lower middle age group in the three sites

2) Bt cotton, occupying ~95% of total cotton area, confirms widespread planting in the rainfed, semi-irrigated and irrigated areas

3) Half of the adopters of Bt cotton were small holder cotton farmers from other backward classes (OBC) in Maharashtra, confirming that  farmers from lower strata including OBC and SC/ST category, were adopters of Bt cotton. This reinforces the fact that Bt cotton is a scale-neutral technology and offers similar levels of protection irrespective of farmer class

4) On average, Bt cotton hybrids increased cotton yield from 4-5 quintals per hectare to 8-10 quintals per hectare in rainfed conditions. In irrigated areas cotton yields showed a steep increase from 10-12 quintals per hectares to 22-24 quintals per hectare

5) A substantial decrease of 82.8% in insecticide sprays was realized in Bt cotton, whilst achieving 99.3% control of the American bollworm pest. Farmers in Maharashtra reported 78% reduction in insecticide sprays, 82% in Andhra Pradesh and 98% in Punjab

6) Bt cotton farmers reported an average net profit of Rs. 41,837 per hectare at the national level. The highest profit was in the Punjab at Rs. 53,139 per hectare followed by Rs 39,786 in Andhra Pradesh and Rs. 32,885 per hectare in Maharashtra

7) Bt technology has decreased pesticides usages, increased cotton productivity, and increased farmers' income and contributed significantly to poverty alleviation.

A high resolution copy of infographic is available for free download at http://www.isaaa.org/resources/infographics/affluentfarmer/affluentfarmer.jpg. The ISCI survey report "The Adoption and Uptake Pathways of Bt Cotton in India" is available in the form of executive summary and full report at ISCI and ISAAA websites http://www.isaaa.org/programs/specialprojects/templeton/adoption/default.asp and http://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.