Telangana government has put severe restrictions on the use of glyphosate, a controversial herbicide, in agricultural and horticultural crops in general and Cotton in particular to curb the illegal use and spread of herbicide tolerant cotton (or Bt3) in the State.
It has asked the pesticide dealers not to sell the herbicide, which is used in HT Cotton crops, without a recommendation slip from the relevant Agriculture Extension Officer.
The herbicide-tolerant Cotton, or HT cotton, is a third generation biotechnology developed by Monsanto which lets the Cotton plant to withstand the herbicide sprays intended to kill the weed. Glyphosate is used in HT crops to kill the weed.
This technology has not received the GEAC’s (Genetic Engineering Approval Committee) permission for commercial use. Its use, however, has been rampant in several parts of the country. With the pink bollworm developing resistance to Bollgard-II, farmers have looked at HT or Bt3 as a saviour.