Bt brinjal, over which the government has put a moratorium, would become a reality in a couple of years after those opposed to it are convinced of its positive aspects, a top official of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University said.
"BT Brinjal will become a reality in a couple of years but it will take some time to convince those opposed to it, mainly farmers, of its positive side," Tamil Nadu Agricultural University Vice Chancellor Murugesa Bhoopathi said, noting that it took six years to popularise Bt cotton.
Among those opposing Bt Brinjal, he alleged, was the pesticide lobby for fear of losing business.
The advantages of Bt Brinjal, he said, was that there would be no pest attacks, meaning that farmers could have a "clean" and clear crop with no residual effect, better market value and consumer acceptance, compared to conventional ones where 70 per cent of it is destroyed by pests and larvae, resulting in farmers losing revenue.
He said many varieties released by TNAU in several crops have been adopted by farmers and said the university has developed four varieties from conventional brinjal after various tests. However, TNAU would wait for the moratorium to be revoked since it was developed for farmers' benefit "and not because of the compulsion or under the diktat of MNCs."
"We have not taken hybrid seed from Monsanto or Mahyco. We have taken the seed of this native crop from farmers and developed in four university Centres," he said.