1.Bt cotton cultivation starts in Bengal: Agri Minister
2.Vidarbha farmers' suicide toll crosses 550 mark
EXTRACT: After the introduction of most costly Bt. cotton in Vidarbha in June 2007 and the subsequent withdrawal of advance bonus in the cotton monopoly scheme..., the rural economy has collapsed, the release charged. According to official reports million of cotton farmers are in deep distress and this agrarian crisis may go out of control...
1.BT Cotton cultivation starts in Bengal: Agri Minister
United News of India, August 3 2007
Kolkata, Aug 3: The cultivation of Monsanto's BT cotton in Vidarbha, which resulted in disaster last year killing more than 540 farmers, is now making silent entry to Bengal.
The cultivation of Monsanto's BT cotton in Vidarbha--the main cotton growing belt of Maharashtra resulted in disaster. Literally hundreds of farmers committed suicide due to total failure of the Bt cotton crop and their resulting debts.
Speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a seminar on "Agri-biotechnology: Opportunities & Challanges" organised by ASSOCHAM, West Bengal Minister Agriculture Minister Naren Dey said,''We have started BT Cotton field trail.'' When asked about BT Cotton cultivation in the state, Agriculture Secretary Atanu Purakayashta said there is no bar on cotton cultivation.
''The Bengal government is increasing cotton cultivation from 500 to 5,000 hecatres by the end of the 11th plan period,'' he said.
Member Secretary and Advisor to Department of Biotechnology, under government of India, Dr KK Tripathi said, ''The biotechnological application can bring about a lot of scientific challanges in front of us.''
2.Vidarbha farmers' suicide toll crosses 550 mark with 11 more cases [shortened]
TariqueIndia News Posted August 3 2007 http://www.indianmuslims.info/news/2007/aug/03/vidarbha_farmers_suicide_toll_crosses_550_mark_11_more_cases.html
Bhopal : Eleven more distressed cotton growing farmers in Vidarbha region of western Indian state of Maharashtra, mostly from Prime Minister relief package covered six districts of west Vidarbha, have committed suicides in last 72 hours.
According to Nagpur-based Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, (VJAS), Press release now the total farmers' suicide since January 2007 has crossed 550 mark taking the toll to 551.
The Press release issued today stated that 1212 farmers have officially committed suicides after Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had announced a relief package of Rs. 37,500 millions last June-July to tide over the ongoing Vidarbha farm crisis. Thus, this has not served any purpose to reduce the prevailing distress of the affected farmers.