The debate over genetically modified (GM) farming is yet to be resolved, but the Akhilesh Yadav government is considering the introduction of BT cotton in Uttar Pradesh.
After informing the Centre of the plan, the state has constituted an expert committee.
“We are exploring the possibility and have set up a panel headed by prominent agriculture scientist Punjab Singh,” said agriculture minister Anand Singh.
BT cotton is being grown in several states including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, with good results, he said.
The government expects that the introduction of Bt cotton may in turn help revive the cloth mills of the state, which had to be closed down for lack of raw cotton. The farmers’ groups, though, resent the idea.