Bt cotton loss: Farmers to block NH-4

Farmers under the banner of Karnataka Raya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) have threatened to block NH-4 at Haveri, indefinitely from February 21, seeking compensation for the losses faced by cotton farmers. The farmers have sought a compensation of Rs 30,000 per acre.

Addressing a press meet here on Tuesday, Chamarasa Mali Patil, KRRS State president, said that owing to poor quality Bt cotton seeds supplied by two companies -- Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India) Limited and Kaveri Seed Company Ltd. He also demanded Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to drop Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda from the cabinet, as he was not aware of the problems faced by the farmers.

No yield

Farmers who had cultivated the seeds purchased from the companies, have suffered financial losses owing to poor yield. “The seed variety of the companies only boost the growth rate of plants, with little or no yield. Either the State government should compensate the farmers, or demand the companies to compensate for the losses incurred,” he demanded.

The seeds were planted in over 1.5 lakh acres of land in eight districts of Northern Karnataka, with maximum loss suffered by farmers in Haveri, he said. He criticised the State government for offering Rs 1,800 per acre as compensation. “Cotton seeds required for cultivating one acre of land itself costs Rs 2,500. Even though the average revenue generated from an acre of cotton is about Rs one lakh, we have sought only one third amount as compensation,” he said.

He demanded that amendments be made to the seed policy of the State to safeguard the interests of farmers from private seed manufacturing companies.

Sugarcane price

KRRS secretary, Badagalapura Nagendra said that even though the State government had fixed a minimum support price of Rs 2,650 per tonne of sugarcane, farmers were only given Rs 1,800-2,000 per tonne of sugarcane.

He said that families of ministers Shamanuru Shivashankarappa and Satish Jarakiholi, and other elected representatives too were not adhering to the decisions made by the State government.

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