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India is the leading cotton producer globally, but its crop, unfortunately, is in distress. Thanks to the increased use of heavy pesticides, genetically modified seeds and an overarching range of seeds that have had proved dangerous to the soil and environment around.
For instance, non-food-grade pesticides such as the ones made use of for growing cotton have been directly connected with DNA damage, nausea, hair loss, and chronic endocrine disorders. Now, think about the women and kids involved in picking the cotton they are the most vulnerable!
Genetic modification of cotton seeds was first legalized in our country in the early 2000s with three genetically modified seeds introduced. But by 2016, about 1600 different varieties of seeds were available in the marketplace. Today, the farmers have an overflowing range of seed choices.
Things are changing though, and organic cotton cultivation is finding support among the NGOs, farming communities and private companies. Cost-subsidising is carried out widely to support production-making decisions. Incentives are offered to further the impetus.
All said only roughly 3% of India’s cotton is organic and that is approximately three-quarters of the global organic cotton production. The cooperative societies in India are still responsible for the supply of pesticides and insecticides to the farming communities.
The need of the hour is a formulation of policies around organic agriculture than cultivating as much as cotton crops as possible. Non-organic farming has shown that farmers aren’t able to lead quality lives just because there aren’t enough robust policies in place for problem-solving.