Farmers favour GM mustard

Farmers favour GM mustard

More than 100,000 farmers from 16 states have submitted a petition to the government favouring cultivation of genetically modified mustard, which has been kept on hold by the centre.

“As per the initial studies GM mustard has the potential to increase yield between 20 and 30%, which is significant enough for the commercial cultivation of the crop,” said former Rajya Sabha member U S Mann, who is now the chairman of the kisan coordination committee.

Mann’s outfit along with five other farmers organisations have petitioned the government in support of the GM mustard.

“We met Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and gave them our petition signed by more than 130,000 farmers,” Chengal Reddy, Consortium of Indian farmers Association told DH. Developed by scientists at Delhi University, the GM mustard was under the consideration of the regulator, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee for commercial cultivation, when Javadekar held it back for wider public consultation. A retired biotechnologist and non-governmental groups opposing GM crops questioned the yield of the genetically modified mustard, but the developer and former DU vice chancellor Deepak Pental rejected those charges.

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