Government may encourage area specific specialisation It would help in

Government may encourage area specific specialisation

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Government may encourage area specific specialisation. It would help in developing commodity specific infrastructure cost effectively. First, this will win away area from less remunerative but essential crops like cereals. This trend was apparent in the’80s v , and the liberalisation is expected to accentuate it further. There are other disadvantages of area specific specialisation. Mono cropping without proper crop rotation often leads to the problem of weeds, pests and diseases. This disconcerting trend has been experienced in the selected regions of the country. In the North-West India losses in wheat yield due to phalaris minor , a weed, are examples. Similar instances of crop losses due to pests are there in other parts of the country. To check menace of pests, chemicals are applied indiscriminately. These pests often develop resistance against specific pesticides. As a consequence, losses to crop due to pests continue, while farmers incur expenditures in purchasing costly chemicals. The case of cotton farmers in coastal Andhra Pradesh is an example. There are also apprehensions on account of patentability of plant varieties. It is feared that farmers cannot store, use and exchange seeds as the seed varieties have been patented. This is, however, a myth; only commercial exchange or sale of the seed varieties will not be allowed, following the enactment of the Plant Variety Bill. The patent is about protecting the right of farmers’ vis-à-vis breeders or researchers. There is a trade-off between their rights. The PVB is based on the UPOV 1978, which protects farmers’ right better than the UPOV 1991. Therefore, utmost care has been taken to safeguard the farmers’ rights, while formulating the PVB. A better protection of the plant breeder’s rights through patents would encourage private research in developing suitable varieties, and in the long run farmers would be benefited. There is, however, a genuine threat from “bio-piracy”. The word coined by Vandana Shiva, refers to a situation when the farmers are practicing the knowledge since an individual company has patented time immemorial. For instance, WB Grace, a 9
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