Thursday, January 28, 2016

GM Cotton Production in India

This week we take a look at an interview with Ganesh Nanote, a farmer from India. Ganesh explains production practices, trends, reasoning, and challenges facing agriculture in India, specifically around cotton production. I encourage you to read the interview conducted by Aneela Mirchandani and reflect with others using the discussion points below.

Profile of an Indian Farmer

Discussion Points

  • How are GMO's (genetically modified organisms) viewed around the world?
  • There is a big debate on seed technology and patents that go with them. Reflect on the following statement from the interview regarding seed freedom, "This is a question of the farmer's freedom to select his seed and access technology." What is your stance and why?
  • Ganesh does an excellent job of telling the story of how cotton production in India has transformed since the early 1990's. Explain this transformation and the advantages or disadvantages that have accompanied.
  • In countries where farmers have large plots of land they plant a percentage of non-Bt seed along side Bt seed to fight resistance issues. In countries were farmers have smaller plots of land this is not always possible. What are these farmers doing to combat resistance? Do you have any other ideas they could try?
  • Many argue that poor farmers cannot afford GM seeds due to the cost of the technology behind them. How does Ganesh respond to this? What is your view? Explain.
  • Explain how Ganesh equates farming and soil health to someones IQ and nutritional health.
  • What challenges are facing farmers in India according to Ganesh? Are farmers around the world and in your community facing these same challenges? What could be done to address these challenges in your opinion?

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