Economic and environmental benefits and costs of transgenic by C. Ramasamy, K.N. Sevaraj, George W. Norton, K.

By C. Ramasamy, K.N. Sevaraj, George W. Norton, K. Vijayaraghavan

...a learn of the effect of transgenic types of Rice, groundnut, potatoes and egg plant at the lives of the marginal farmers in South Asia

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Production Losses Due to Late Blight In part due to research and development efforts, potato production in India has increased significantly and India is now the world’s fourth largest producer in terms of both production and area. Productivity has increased over time due to introduction of high yielding and pest resistant varieties. Despite this fact, productivity per hectare is low as compared to other major potato growing countries in Europe, Oceana, and the United States. Low productivity can be attributed to poor seed quality, inappropriate varieties, and inadequate control of insects and diseases particularly late blight (caused by the fungus Phytophthora infestans).

However, the varieties that have been transformed can not be grown in other countries, so the technology must be transferred to suitable varieties before transferring it, even for field testing (Segelken, 2002). Considerable efforts have also been made over the last three decades to develop drought and saline tolerant genotypes at IRRI in collaboration with other partner institutes in India. The bottom line is that transgenic DST rice is likely to be at least 10 years away from commercialization.

Surveys conducted from 1998 through 2001 revealed that the disease was widespread and its intensity levels ranged from 2-100 percent. The disease caused severe epidemics in some places resulting into total yield loss, which made the farmers abandon sunflowers and switch over to other crops. Scientists believed that the most economical way to manage PSND, was to grow resistant varieties. But 35 Tobacco Streak Virus Resistant in Groundnut and Sunflower resistance to TSV has not yet been found in cultivated groundnut or sunflowers.

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