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Pesticides, soil, all count in GM crops’ effectiveness, finds study by Jacob P Koshy

Genetically modified (GM) pest-resistant crops may not be the panacea they are made out to be, a new study shows, with specific reference to Bt cotton. The field trial by scientists in Nagpur shows that the soil the plants are grown in matters almost as much as insect-killing genes and pesticide sprays. The finding could significantly increase the amount of money farmers spend in buying and spraying pesticides. It could also mean...

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Food security to create permanent wheat shortage by Nidhi Nath Srinivas

From next year, atta,bread,biscuits ,snacks and everything made from maida and sooji will become seriously more expensive. Even after a bumper crop, there just won't be enoughwheat for us. ET helps you join the dots. The trigger for wheat inflation that will hit each one of us is the Food Security Act, which kickstarts next year. The Food Corporation of India (FCI) will need substantially more wheat to supply three...

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Farmers from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra narrate bitter Bt cotton tales

The debate on genetically modified crops is gaining momentum again. However, this time, it seems the engineered food is losing ground to traditional crops. Eleven farmers from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu made a series of submissions explaining the havoc wrought by Bt cotton on their farms. Their main contention was that Bt cotton had not given them economic benefits. As a matter of fact, they had become poorer, their soils had...

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Climate Conversations - Women take on drought and pests with virtual science academy by Alina Paul-Bossuet

A couple of years ago, Mahabubnagar district in India’s southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh had one of its driest years since 1929. The region recorded 90 percent less rainfall than the norm. But the mass exodus expected when droughts cause crops to fail didn’t happen. Men didn’t leave to work in cities. They stayed put. This was partly down to a network of 8,000 highly motivated women. The Adarsha Mahila...

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Relay solutions for food prices by Surinder Sud

The recent spike in vegetable prices, due partly to erratic supplies, could well have been averted if the novel concept of “relay cropping” in vegetable farming had become popular. This system allows growing three to seven crops of different vegetables on the same patch of land over a period to ensure a steady and regular flow of vegetables to markets. This innovative approach, significantly, has been conceived and successfully put into practice...

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