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Hard-cover • 2019
Pages: 176
ISBN: 9789332704930
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Academic Foundation

Dynamics of Labour Use and Role of Genetically Modified Crops in Cotton Cultivation

Niti Mehta

About the Book

The book explores current challenges faced by cotton farmers specially while doing the labour intensive operations in cotton cultivation, and assesses the potential socio-economic impact of the introduction of herbicide tolerant crops in India. Besides use of secondary and published data the objectives are met through a primary survey of cotton cultivators across Gujarat. Adopting the cost of cultivation framework, the study also engages in cross section comparison of production costs of cotton and net returns across size classes of farmers. The respondents were cultivators using both traditional Bt cotton hybrids and a type that incorporates an herbicide tolerance gene. The acreage under the latter crop is reportedly becoming widespread, albeit in stealth, due to reduced labour costs and certain non-pecuniary benefits and hence merits scrutiny by policymakers. It is expected that the findings of the study will serve as inputs for policymakers, researchers and other stakeholders to target investment to improve farmers’ welfare through technological change, while minimizing trade-offs.

Praise for this book

<p>Weed menace receives lesser attention despite posing a much bigger threat to crop production and farmer incomes, relatively to that from pests and diseases in the world in general and in India in particular. This book analysises technological solutions to alleviate this damage and to reduce drudgery to human labourers, thereby enabling them to seek productive jobs in the non-farm sector. Highly relevant book in these times of structural transformation in Indian agriculture and a must-read for all those interested in improving rural livelihoods.<br /> <strong>— Professor Chandrasekhara Rao</strong><br /> <em>Institute of Economic Growth, New Delhi</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This book is a must read for anyone seriously interested in policy choices, as also in the farmer’s decisions, between the hybrids and transgenic crop technologies in a rapidly commercialising and diversifying agriculture. It is an informative book on the subject.<br /> <strong>— Professor Yoginder K Alagh</strong><br /> <em>Eminent Economist</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Niti Mehta’s book based on the primary data demonstrates that farmers are willing to adopt the HT cotton variety that would lead to sizeable reduction in the hired female labour costs. The analysis shows that the HT technology would free women from the low paying farm operations who may be gainfully engaged in non-farm activities.&nbsp;Technological advancements are required to boost agricultural productivity in the Indian context and Niti Mehta’s book amply demonstrates the ground realities faced by the farmers who are looking for technological solutions to address their issues. This book will be very useful for the researchers and policy makers to initiate a fresh discussion on the possible introduction of HT and other GM varieties and to revisit the moratorium on GM crops in India.<br /> <strong>— Professor Lalitha Narayanan</strong><br /> <em>Gujarat Institute of Development Research, Ahmedabad</em></p>

About the Author(s) / Editor(s)

Niti Mehta is Professor of Economics, directing the Sardar Patel Institute of Economic and Social Research, Ahmedabad. An alumni of Delhi School of Economics, CEPT University, and Gujarat University, her research is focussed on agriculture development, employment, agrarian growth and rural transformation, urbanisation and related areas. Prof Mehta has authored several research papers on these subjects. Her books relate to labour use in agriculture, sources of agricultural growth, human development and rural transformation. Prior to her current position, Prof. Mehta was associated with the Agro-Climatic Regional Planning Project of the Planning Commission, wherein resource based, decentralized agro-climatic plans were formulated for the country.

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