EXPERIENCES OF FARMERS IN SECOND ROUND FIELD CULTIVATION
This is UBINIG’s report on the second round field cultivation of Btbrinjal, an ongoing monitoring of the unethical promotion of GMOs. There are evidences that in the previous field cultivation, the Btbrinjal promoters completely ignored the scientific precautionary ethics and international protocols and principles with regard to the release of GMOs in the environment, particularly in a biodiverse agro-ecological condition posing serious threat of bio-pollution and health hazards. (Please see ‘Farmers are cheated in Btbrinjal ‘field cultivation’ and other stories at www.ubinig.org)
For the second round field cultivation, UBINIG research team has collected information from all the 19 districts that were included for the field cultivation of Btbrinjal for the second time. A list of 110 farmers with their full address along with cell phone numbers, to find the farmers and to interview them, was available. The team went out to meet the farmers to document their experiences. We also had monitored the Btbrinjal in the field during the first round. In the second round, UBINIG conducted the field level documentation after the farmers have already harvested the crop. A questionnaire was developed to get systematic information for all the farmers so that their experiences could be compiled to make an objective analysis on the second round of field cultivation.
The evidences from the farmers prove that Btbrinjal, the controversial genetically modified eggplant, has failed again in the second round field cultivation during 2014-2015. The field exercise failed to demonstrate a reasonable performance of the crop, the minimum that might graduate the technology for meaningfully scientific debate. It failed to prove any additional agronomic value to the farmer. The BtBrinjal promoters conducted the field cultivations violating precautionary scientific ethics, regulatory principles, directives from the Ministry of Environment and protests of farmer organizations and civil society. The second round field cultivation was done under more direct supervision of the promoter themselves taking care like a patient in an intensive care unit under Life Support. In the modern and commercial medical care “Life Support” is being used to keep the dead persons ‘alive’ as long as the doctors and the relatives decide to accept the reality. Btbrinjal is a dead case; it is just kept under Life support waiting for a decision to stop it.