Biotech Updates

Young Indian Bt Cotton Farmers Meet and Greet African Delegates

October 7, 2015

A group of young Bt cotton farmers from the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra met the visiting African delegation on October 1, 2015. Government officials, regulators, consumers, and media practitioners from six East and Southern African countries of Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, and Swaziland visited India as part of "Seeing is believing" study tour conducted by the South Asia Biotechnology Centre (SABC), New Delhi, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), U.S. Department of Agriculture, and ISAAA AfriCenter.

Mr. Manoj Matre, 22 year-old Bt cotton farmer from Shel Gaon, met the African delegates and shared his experiences in planting Bt cotton. He proudly shared that the Bt cotton crop in his 2.5-acre farm flourishes in rich black soil. Mr. Manoj said, "My family has been growing Bt cotton hybrid for the last 10 years. I started growing them myself two to three years ago. I find it convenient to grow Bt cotton crop and harvest 12-15 quintals per acre (1,200-1,500 kg per acre). I hardly spray pesticides, and I don't spray for American bollworm, spotted bollworm and other borer pests. I harvest 50-60 bolls from one plant on average, and I pick cotton bolls 5-6 times in 5-6 months. It provides our family a consistent source of income."

Another Bt cotton farmer, Jagdish Matre, joined the group and shared his Bt cotton experience, saying, "I am a young Bt cotton farmer simultaneously pursuing my Master of Commerce from a reputable institute."

For more information about the study tour, please contact or