Kapil Shah works for an organisation in Maharashtra called Jatan: Mission for Organic Farming. Kapil says that at the start farmers were happy with the introduction of Monsanto’s GM cotton. Good weather conditions and a high global price for cotton made it profitable for farmers to grow. So, many farmers stopped growing vegetables and other crops to just focus on cotton. After almost 8 years of growing GM cotton, farmers started to experience serious problems.
He says pesticide use had increased to the same level, or even more, than before the introduction of Monsanto’s cotton. Pests have become more aggressive than they were before, with some even becoming resistant to pesticides, meaning that farmers are buying even more. Crops are becoming susceptible to diseases that previously were not a problem. Soil quality has deteriorated because GM cotton drains soil of its nutrients. The switch to cotton farming has also meant that less food was grown locally, leading to food shortages. Continue reading →