BT cotton in India…a success story for the environment and local welfare

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Abstract or Summary

Nowhere on earth will you see more cotton fields than in India. Cotton cultivation has experienced a remarkable growth story over the last decade: the production, the yield per hectare and the total area on which cotton can be cultivated have all increased to record high levels. The Indian cotton farmers now account for 21 % of the global production. Of course there is more than one reason for this increase in cotton cultivation in India. Nonetheless, anyone who examines the figures will note that this growth is associated with the introduction of Bt cotton, a type of cotton plant that has had the genes of the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis inserted – hence the name Bt cotton. These genes produce proteins that protect the plant against the bollworm, a notorious pest of cotton plants.

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