ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Is Bt Cotton Cultivation Economically Viable for Indian Farmers?

Though cotton has been cultivated predominantly in many parts of India, its productivity is one of the lowest in the world mainly due to attacks by pests/insects and low coverage of irrigation facility. Despite using pesticides, farmers are unable to control the bollworm, the key pest in cotton, that ravages up to 80 per cent of crop output. Bt cotton introduced in March 2002 for commercial cultivation in India is considered an important variety in protecting the crop from bollworm attack. However, not many credible studies are available focusing on the economic aspects of Bt cotton cultivation using properly designed sample survey data. In this paper, using data collected from 150 sample farmers from two districts in Maharashtra, an attempt has been made to study the economics of Bt cotton cultivation. This study provides an in-depth analysis of the impact of Bt cotton on pesticide use, costs of cultivation, productivity and profit.

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