Convention on Biodiversity Modern Agriculture and Erosion of Agro-biodiversity3rd October, 2012 from 13:15 - 14:45 at hall no. Room 1.06 - Level 1 at Hitex Dr. G.V. Ramanjaneyulu Veena V. RaoOrganized by Centre for Sustainable Agriculture
Objectives of the study• This paper analyses how agro-diversity is being eroded in the name of modernizing agriculture, taking two case studies i.e., paddy and cotton.• It aims to come up with a larger framework for people and government to adopt and move forward making agriculture sound ecologically and economically sustainable.
India: The home of diversity• India is one of the eight primary centres of origin of cultivated plants• Centre of crop diversity, including about 375 closely related wild species mainly of rice, several important pulses, millets, vegetables, fruits and fibre plants.• Nearly 140 breeds of domesticated animals are also found here.• With just 2.4% of the worlds land area , India accounts for over 45,000 recorded species of plants and 91,000 recorded species of animals even while supporting almost 18% of human population as well as a large livestock population.
India one of the 12 mega biodiversity centres S.No., Name of the Crop Number of Varieties/ Breeds 1. Rice 100,000 Varieties 2. Mango 1000 Varieties 3. Sorghum 5000 Varieties 4 Brinjal 3500 varieties 4. Cattle 27 Breeds 5. Goats 22 Varieties 6. Sheep 40 Breeds 7. Poultry 18 Breeds 8. Buffalo 8 Breeds
Diversity is the key for Indian Agriculture• Array of Climatic, ecological, agro-ecological conditions• Locally adapted crop varieties and varied agricultural practices .• Ability to use combination of biological, social, cultural and political forms of diversity and vis-à-vis integrated, networked to manage risk and adapt to change;• Agriculture practice encompassed the great flexibility and variety of production and management technology.• Variety of production strategies; promoting resource sharing and other forms of reciprocity.• Offers flexibility and resilience of advantage for farmers on socio-economic, environmental, cultural and climate changes.
Pre-Green RevolutionHistorical…• In the era of kings and plenty, as late as 1700’s there were rich agricultural deltas in prosperous parts of India namely in Bengal and Madras.• An array of grain crops like bajra, ragi, sorghum and other minor millet grown in rainfed environments.• India known for cottons from Mohanjadaro days…• The agriculture yields in traditional India were high. A classic example of paddy yields in Chengalpattu district in Tamil NaduColonial…• Systematic changes in land ownership and use pattern and water supply.• Introduction of cash crops; weaning away from food crops; infamous Bengal Famine.• Impact of colonial policy was highly detrimental to Indian agriculture.• Mismanagement of food security by the imperialists.
Green Revolution Phase• Largely influenced by American institutions and technologies• In the name of advancements in the field of sciences- a technology driven revolution in agriculture sector with public support• Malthusianism: Widespread hunger and malnutrition witnessed in India during 1960s.• Government initiated a series of programs to promote intensive agriculture.• Key investments made in few food crops viz., rice and wheat research few commercial crops viz., cotton• Introduction of HYVs/Hybrids combined with use of fertilizers, chemical inputs and irrigation.• Green Revolution enabled the nation to increase food production.• Skewed focus on paddy, wheat and few commercial crops grown under high external inputs has brought in its own set of economic and ecological problems.• Signs of Genetic Erosion and a range of environmental problems were observed.
Post Green Revolution phase Proprietary technologies GM intensive Monoculture-monopoly Decreasing role of public research and extension Realignment of links in the trade Contract farming-Preference for limited crops Long distance trade Retail chains
5000 years ago cotton was grown in India & textile technology was only with the Indus Valley 3000 BC A little bit of cotton was also grown in Egypt, but it never became important there cotton was being cultivated on the Pacific coast of Chile and Peru. From India it spread west to Egypt and Turkey; from the Pacific north to Central America and the Caribbean.
• Arboriums were – suitable for rainfed conditions – intercropped with various crops – ripened over a period of time, suiting the harvesting patterns of small growers• Hirsutums – need irrigation – dampness causes fungal diseases – Irrigation increases soil salinity and – Monocropping increases pest attack
Staple wise production of cotton % 1947-48 Short Medium 33% Long Extra long 67% 2002-03 2010-11 3% 2% 1% 7% 20%37% 53% 77%
Changes in area under the four Gossypium species 19472000 2009
2002 onwards Bt cotton in India:Non-comprehensive, Unscientific assessment and hasty approvals • Genetic determinism • Varied performance: CICR study • Data falsification • High cost • Monoculture of gene • Monopoly of market • Genetic pollution • Resistant development • RMPs ineffective • Reduced choices
Increase in Cotton Yield: The Full Picture700 Pre-Bt Cotton Period During Bt Cotton Period 140%600 70% Increase Only 2% Increase 554 521 524 517 120% 503500 470 472 481 90% 100% 399 84% 85% 85%400 80% 308 302 62%300 278 60% 41%200 40% 18%100 20% 6% 0% 0% 0% 1% 0 0%Data for % area under BT for 2010-11 and 2011-12 are estimatesand for 2005-06 is interpolated Yield in kgs per hectare % area under BT
Politics of cotton seed• Government of India withdraws 99 var/hybrids in 2003• AP govt moves to MRTP commission to reduce seed prices• GoI withdraws cotton from essential commodities• Studies show that farmers are deskilled
Bt Bikeneri Narma and Bt NH 44• 2001: Bt bikeneri narma using event BNLA-601 jointly developed by UAS, Dharwar and NRCPB, New Delhi• 2005: Confined Strip Trials• 2006: multi location field trails in kharif at four locations each in the Central, South and North Zones• 2007: GEAC refused permission for LSTs citing Supreme Court orders.• 2008: Commercial Approval• 2009: temporary ban• 2011: with drawl from commercial cultivation
Questions to be answered• Why it was released in spite of knowing about presence of Mon-531• if it is a false claim how come it was not detected during the regulatory testing and approval process• if contamination is a problem what happend to the originally developed variety Bt BN-1 and hybrid Bt NHH-44?• instead of withdrawing these varieties/hybrids why didn’t ICAR freshly multiply and supply the same varieties/hybrids?• if contamination has happened and there is no mechanism of reviving these varieties/hybrids the following two questions need to be answered – If contamination has happened and is inevitable, how come the two other events of Bt cotton (one by JK Seeds and another by Nath seeds) are still in market? And why MON-531 and other events are not yet contaminated – The argument that contamination in hybrids can be avoided as seed is freshly produced every year also do not stand as Bt NH-44 is a hybrid. – If contamination is inevitable then how ICAR and SAUs working on the GM crops are going to market their GM crop varieties/hybrids in future?
Not just this….• CAG report 2004 says NBPGR was not handling the collected germplasm properly• In 2000 SRC expressed its specific concern about non- regeneration of cotton germplasm samples as they were losing germination viability• In three out of five cases (test check of 35 import permits included five cases of cotton import), the applications were not routed through the Director, CICR, Nagpur, by the indenters which includes transgenic cotton germplasm in 2003• Till 2003 ICAR has released 226 varieties (including 43 hybrids). In 2003 CAB recommended to denotify all except 33. Government has denotified more than 100 since then• In 2005 several cases of non bt cotton getting contaminated with Bt were reported..
Paddy Case• Over a 100,000 land races in India, near about 50,000 varieties under cultivation• Chhattisgarh alone housed over 22,000 Rice landraces.• West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha had over 15,500 Rice landraces until 1975.• Over 14,200 of these varieties were shipped to IRRI between 1965-75.• The extant varieties include: FLOOD-TOLERANT, DROUGHT- TOLERANT, SALTTOLERANT, AROMATIC AND MEDICINAL VARIETIES• Today we have 85% of rice coming from 10 varieties• Wide diverse growing conditions changed to ponding conditions
Diversity in shape, size, color and content Jugal Satheen
Hybrid Rice• AP first state to release hybrid seeds and produces 80 % of hybrid rice seed• Area under hybrid rice gradually increasing in the country• Collaborative projects under PPP• Chinese Super Rice Hybrid• Public supported projects
GM Rice –the major threat• Directorate of rice research – Golden Rice – Iron-dense rice – Bt Rice• Hyderabad University – Flavanoid rich rice (to boost antioxidant levels) using Nootripathu traditional variety from Tamil nadu• Osmania University – Bt rice• Mahyco – Bt rice• Liberty link rice contamination in US• GM Basmati rice research and trials stopped for trade security reasons• What about GM rice trails in centres of diversity and non basmati growing areas?
High Micro Nutrient Contents in Rice Folk variety Fe (mg/kg) Zn (mg/kg) Kelas 13.8 35.5 Noichi 8.0 46.0 Parmai-sal 15.0 42.5 Kabiraj-sal 9.5 36.8 Kalabhat 39.3 26.8 IET 7029 1.9 31.4 MS13 7.0 34 Source: anandan (2011); Anandan & Debal Deb
Alternative Cereals for ironMillet Fe content (mg/100 g)Pearl Millet 16.9Barnyard Millet 15.2Little Millet 9.3Foxtail Millet 2.8MS13 Rice 3.0
Attractive research hybrid seed segments Marketshare by value of Key Key Hybrid Crops: Sales Hybrid Crops 70,000 140 12% 6% Production (MT) Sorghum 8% 120 60,000 Value (US $ Mn.) Bajra 50,000 100 8% 40,000 80 Maize ( 6% 30,000 60 Sunflower 20,000 40 Cotton 10,000 20 Vegetables 60% 0 0 Cotton Maize Sorghum Bajra Sunflower Cotton is the most important segment because of a high percentage of cultivated area under research hybrids.
Industry driven technology and cropping patternIn terms of value, vegetables is the largest segment, accounting for 17% ofthe total market.Realisations as against average market prices of seeds of key crops are asunder,Crop Average market price Estimates- % Net Realization*GM Hybrid cotton 650 Rs/packet (450 g) 120Hybrid Maize 450 Rs/bag (5 Kg) 125Hybrid Cotton 350 Rs/packet (450g) 30Hybrid Bajra 110 Rs/bag(1.5 Kg) 15Hybrid Jowar 120 Rs/bag (3 Kg) 15Wheat 400 Rs/bag (40 Kg) <5Research wheat 1400 Rs/bag (20 Kg) 25•After deducting all costs except interest, depreciation, overheads
Public sector no different• 5 NRCs, 42 CRIs, 4 national bureaus, 10 project directorates, 28 NRCs, and 82 AICRPs, 31 SAUs• Only few crops – Paddy, Wheat, Maize, Cotton, Soybean,Vegetables• Large chunk of money on Hybrid research and Genetic engineering
Recommendations• Increase Public Investments on Sustainable Agriculture• Strengthen Public Institutions of Research, Extension and Marketing Mechanisms• Protecting Communities’ Agro-biodiversity Rights
Increase Public Investments on Sustainable Agriculture• Pro-farmer agriculture crop research in Public Sector undertakings with accountability systems in place.• Integrate Economic and Environmental Costs of Agro-technologies into various agricultural research establishments.• Investments in promotion of agro-biodiversity by way of popularizing, promoting open source model and boost community grain and seed bank models for revitalizing agro-biodiversity.• Promote Agro-ecological approaches in agriculture.
Strengthen Public Institutions of Research, Extension and Marketing Mechanisms• Develop comprehensive policy on cropping pattern and crop improvement at the state level and carve out agro-ecological policy for entire nation.• Promulgate and advocate in-situ conservation and participatory gene banks with integrated management systems.• Develop and chalk out clearer guidelines for Public-Private Partnership for agriculture sector under Section (7) of National Biodiversity Act with clearer accountability systems.• Institutionalize agro-biodiversity use through integration into various government schemes i.e, Mid-day meals, ICDS and PDS.• Initiate and Integrate agro-biodiversity conservation as part of the school curriculum across country.• Create market demand for native land race varieties through institutional mechanisms and develop structures and mechanisms to integrate producers and consumers.
Protecting Communities’ Agro- biodiversity Rights• Maintain register on National Biodiversity and ensure community rights.• Restore, promote and protect natural rights of communities over seeds and biodiversity and not as residual rights which are currently mentioned under Plant Variety Protection and Farmers Rights Act• Declare all the germplasm material in custody of National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) and other National Bureaus, Agricultural Research stations, and other public gene banks as ‘Open Source’ and use legal instruments to keep further derivatives ‘open sourced’• Formulate National Access Policy on genetic resources and protect them from being appropriated for private gains.• Implement Recommendations of M.S. Swaminathan Task Force on Biotechnology and Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel to keep biodiversity hotspots GM free.• Ban patents on any living forms including genes.• Replace Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill with National Biosafety policy with a clearer Liability and Redress mechanisms.