R.B. Barwale, V.R. Gadwal, Usha Zehr, and Brent Zehr
Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Company, India

Cotton is a very important crop in India; farmers there face the challenge of losses due to various insect pests. The first genetically modified crop in India, Bt cotton, has been introduced to address bollworm infestation. The process of introduction of Bt cotton took six years of experimentation, during which time agronomic, environmental, and biosafety data was generated and reported. The trials conducted prior to commercialization clearly established the superior performance of Bt cotton, as demonstrated by increased yields and reduction in application of pesticides. Transgenic technology is suitable for the Indian farmer despite small farm holdings. The area under Bt cotton is projected to increase rapidly in the coming years.

Key words: Bt, Bt cotton, transgenic crops.