Feb 16, 2013, 10.57 AM | Source: PTI

Farmers union asks Punjab govt to scrap MoU with Monsanto

Farmers union asks Punjab govt to scrap MoU with Monsanto

Chandigarh, Feb 15 (PTI) Various farmers unions, environmental and other social groups today asked Punjab government to scrap the MoU signed with Monsanto for setting up centre of excellence in the state. "Monsanto has no expertise in diversification ...it has a history of monopolistic and exploitative practices, promoting monocultures and has a well known legacy of being anti-farmer," Umendra Dutt, Executive Director, Kheti Virasat Mission said in a release issued here. He said the state government should immediately scrap the memorandum of understandings, which have been signed with Monsanto to set up Center of excellence. On February 12, Punjab government had inked MoU with Monsanto Holdings Pvt Ltd to jointly establish three Centers of Excellence for cotton, maize and vegetables in the state. Epidemiologist G P I Singh said farm problems faced by Punjab are not those that can be solved by corporate like Monsanto. "Punjab is facing the ill-effects of the chemical-intensive agriculture-- diminishing fertility of agricultural lands, depleting waters, environmental pollution and fast growing prevalence of cancers and other chronic illnesses amongst the citizens of the state," he said. "Both Pesticides and GM crops come from the same school of thought and the same labs that aim at profiting at the cost of farmers, public health and environment. This should not be allowed to continue" he added. In this context, the dire need is of promoting diversity and ecological farming in the state while encouraging agricultural universities to take up research in this direction and allocating more funds in this direction. Jagmohan Singh, General Secretary BKU Dakunda speaking on the behalf of 17 farmers unions said: "Monsanto's policies are explicitly anti-farmer, anti-nature and it has been in the news world over for wrong reasons-- for its monopolistic practices, and wiping out choices for the farmers in the long run, for bringing in and promoting toxic technologies like GM seeds." PTI CHS DKR


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