Govt must de-regulate Bt brinjal, GM mustard & approve herbicide-tolerant cotton and other crop varieties.
The government must de-regulate Bt brinjal and genetically modified mustard, which have already been approved by The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), the country’s authority to allow genetically modified organisms.
Anil Ghanwat, President of the Swatantra Bharat Party and a member of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee on Farm Laws, demanded that the government also approve herbicide-tolerant cotton and other crop varieties.
Ghanwat stated in a letter to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, ‘It appears that many States are hesitant in giving consent for field trials of GM crops.’ As a result, I am requesting that you and your government de-regulate all GM crops and varieties that have been approved in other developed countries.’
According to him, the decision will make India self-sufficient in oilseeds and pulses, which are currently imported. ‘I request that you allow the adoption of this technology in India and give farmers the freedom to sow the seed and technology that they prefer,’ Ghanwat said.
Meanwhile, Ghanwat has asked the government to direct government agencies to resume onion procurement under the price stabilisation scheme because onion production in Maharashtra is expected to be high and bulb crop prices have already collapsed.
‘The procurement price of onion should be higher than ₹15 per kg, which is the onion’s production cost.’ Furthermore, procurement must continue until onion prices stabilise above the cost of production in arrival mandis,’ Ghanwat said.