Govt denies Bt cotton failure as reason for farmer suicides | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Govt denies Bt cotton failure as reason for farmer suicides

delhi Updated: May 08, 2012 18:51 IST

The government has denied that suicide by cotton farmers was due to failure of the cash crop on account of adoption of genetically modified seeds.

"India has harvested an average of 5.1 million tonnes of cotton per year which is well above the highest production of 3 million tonnes before the introduction of Bt cotton," minister of state for agriculture, Harish Rawat, said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

The Minister attributed cotton farmers suicide to indebtness, crop failure, drought, socio-economic and personal reasons.

Rawat said numerous measures have been taken by the Union government to improve the financial condition of farmers to help them overcome debt problems.

These include implementation of Rehabilitation package in 31 districts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra besides implementation of Agricultural Debt waiver and debt relief scheme increasing credit flow to agricultural sector.

Other measures like issuing kissan credit cards and providing interest rate subvention for timely payment on crop loans have also been taken, he added.