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Area under Bt cotton increases to 80 lakh hectare

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The area under Bt cotton has increased significantly from 0.29 lakh hectare to 80 lakh hectare in the last eight years in the country, government told the Rajya Sabha today.

"Bt Cotton crop has been approved for commercial cultivation in the country only in Kharif season in 2002.... production has increased in all the cotton growing states with the introduction of Bt Cotton," Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said in a written reply to a question.

Besides, he said bollworm menace in cotton has significantly reduced all over the country while there is a reduction in market share of insecticides used in cotton.

Regarding introduction of other GM crops, Ramesh said the government is assessing the merits and demerits of each GM crop on a case by case basis even if it is approved for cultivation in other countries.

Replying to another question, the Minister said that the government has imposed moratorium only on commercial release of Bt brinjal Event EE-1.

"The moratorium does not hamper research on other GM crops as it is not applicable to other GM food or food crops," he added.

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First Published: Tue, December 07 2010. 15:46 IST