Comparison of Tapovan Cotton with Bt Cotton, Khandesh, Maharashtra, India
There are four main cotton growing areas in Maharashtra, India – Khandesh, Marathwada, Vidarbha and Deccan Canal. Tapovan is situated in the Khandesh area. The GMO varieties of cotton which are known as Bt cotton have now achieved almost 100% penetration into these areas due to very aggressive marketing strategies by the seed companies. Bt cotton is genetically engineered to protect the crop against only one pest – the American boll worm. However, cotton is attacked by no less than 165 pests. And now these secondary pests are attacking with great severity.
The number of attacks by aphids, thrips, jassids, etc, has risen steeply since the introduction of Bt cotton in 2002.
Tobacco leaf streak virus, tobacco caterpillars, etc, have emerged as new diseases and pests of Bt cotton. The emergence of the mealy bug as a Bt cotton pest also appears to be a case of secondary pest resurgence, and no amount or type of pesticide has been able to control it.
This year, the farmers of Khandesh report massive attack of the fungal wilt disease known locally as “Lalya”. Lalya seems to attack only some varieties of Bt cotton. Lalya causes an initial reddening of the leaves, then the whole plant turns red and after a few days it completely dries up and dies. In the farms surrounding Tapovan as many as 50% now show signs of Lalya wilt. Some farmers have already removed their cotton and are preparing their land for the next crop. This results in a massive economic loss to the farmers who are already in serious financial difficulty.
Neighboring Bt cotton attacked by secondary pests Neighboring Bt Cotton attacked by Lalya disease On the other hand in the HOMA Farm “Tapovan” we have sown non Bt American hybrid, Ankur 651. The plants are smaller in height than the Bt varieties but a count of the number of cotton bolls per plant reveal an average of up to 80 or 90. This compares very favorably with the Bt varieties. Bt plants are normally much bigger in size but this does not necessarily translate into more bolls per plant. And on some farms we have counted an average of only 50 to 60 bolls per plant.
Tapovan Homa cotton- up to 90 bolls per plantTapovan Homa Cotton – no pest problems
Below is an interim cost comparison of our neighbour’s Bt cotton with our HOMA Tapovan cotton:
Chemical Bt Cotton (4 acres)
Seeds 5 bags @ 1,700 Rs 8,500
Urea 30 bags @ 300 Rs 9,000
Spray 3 x Rs 8,000
Weeding Rs 1,500
Total Rs 27,000
Cost per acre: Rs 6,750
Tapovan Homa Cotton (1 acre)
Seeds <1 bag @ 450 Rs 400
Vermicompost 15 bags @ 100 Rs 1,500
Biosol spray 3 x Rs 600
Weeding Rs 500
Total Rs 3,000
Cost per acre: Rs 3,000
1000 sq meter HOMA Project in MAHARASHTRA, INDIA
Tapovan 1000 sq meter project
Pictured is part of the 1000 sq meter kitchen garden project in Tapovan. We are showing that large quantities of food can be grown in a small area. The idea is that every 3 or 4 weeks some food will be harvested from the garden as well as some income will be created. We have planted fruit trees, vegetables and herbs. The garden is growing very well in our Tapovan Homa atmosphere. We regularly use Homa Biosol on the garden. We are still developing the small plot but here are some of the plants we are growing:
Homa farming have demonstrated over and over that more food can be grown in small area in less time, free of plagues and diseases. Homa farming can easily reduce the cost and increase the production. Homa Farming is complete by itself but it is also compatible with any organic farming method .
COTTON: HOMA FARMING vs. Bt (genetically modified)