Why did this Bt cotton field have an inherent “yield advantage” ?

Devinder Sharma highlights another factor in assessing reports of the success of GM crops. He quotes from a blog by Glenn Stone, a professor of sociocultural anthropology and environmental studies at Washington University in St. Louis:

GM seed wateringA Warangal woman farmer who was an early adopter of Bt cotton hand-waters her recently planted seeds.

Normally hand-watering is unheard of, but like most early adopters, she lavished extra-ordinary attention on the field with the expensive Bt cotton seed.

Such a field was then reported by economists as evidence that Bt cotton has an inherent “yield advantage” (Smale, et al. 2010; Smale, et al. 2006; Stone, 2011).

Sharma’s comment:

“I now realise how correct he is in his observation, and assessment. I have seen this happening around me. Farmers tend to take more than adequate care of anything that is expensive. Why only farmers, even at our homes, we tend to be more careful and protective of anything that comes from a distant land (and of course is more expensive). It deserves special attention. This is how it has been, and still continues to be.

He draws a parallel with the superior milk yield of the Gurarati Gir cow in Brazil

gir cow2”I have often been asked as to why is that the Indian cattle breeds are less productive than the exotic breeds or crossbred. When desi breeds can be doing so well in Brazil (which is the biggest exporter of Indian breeds of cows), how come they are low producers in India?

“The answer is hidden in that mindset brought out so clearly by Glenn Stone. I find farmers showering all the care on exotic breeds and neglecting the native cows. Just look around and observe silently, you will find the imported breeds being tended like a child while its poor cousin — the desi breed — is left to fend for itself. No wonder, I see native cows roaming on the streets in urban India.

”For the same reason, the Brazilians accord utmost care to Indian breeds, which are exotic for them. A pure bred Gir cow from Gujarat has clocked 62.3 litres of milk yield in Brazil”.


Read about the performance of Gir cows in Brazil and India in Sharma’s 2010 blog.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s