L'Inde a commercialisé du coton biotechnologique en 2002, but has not commercialized a biotech food crop and has sharply limited field trials since 2010. The new government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi changed that after taking office last May. Mr. Modi était ministre en chef de l'État du Gujarat lorsque le coton biotechnologique a été cultivé pour la première fois et était un partisan de la commercialisation..

Dans 2014, sur 95 percent of Indias 30 million acres of cotton were provided protection from bollworms and a leaf eating tobacco caterpillar. On average, le nombre de pulvérisations d'insecticides par an a été réduit de plus de 2 dozen to 2-3. Since commercialization of Bt cotton, production in India has tripled and it the worlds largest producer.

Selon le Service International d'Acquisition d'Applications Agri-Biotech (Ishaaa), la récolte est cultivée par 7.7 millions de petits, resource-poor farmers. Six biotech events have approved and are grown in 1,100 varieties for the many agro-climate zones in India. Most of the approved Bt cotton hybrids are produced from two Monsanto biotech events and are approved for seed, fibre, et production / consommation d'aliments.

The Modi government first authorized field trials of mustard. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told Reuters, Field trials are already on because our mandate is to find out a scientific review, a scientific evaluation. Confined, les essais sur le terrain en toute sécurité sont en cours. C’est un long processus pour savoir s’il est totalement sûr ou non.”

Malgré le succès du coton biotechnologique en Inde, le processus d'approbation réglementaire a déraillé 2010 selon l'U.S. Agricultural Attach in India. En octobre 2009, le comité d'évaluation du génie génétique (GEAC) a recommandé l'approbation de la culture commerciale de l'aubergine Bt et l'a transmise au ministère de l'Environnement et des Forêts (MOEF) for a final decision. In February 2010, Le MOEF a annoncé un moratoire sur l'approbation jusqu'à ce que le système de réglementation puisse garantir la sécurité humaine et environnementale grâce à des études à long terme. Little has been done since then.

En juillet 2011, the GEAC introduced new procedures for authorizing biotech crop field trials requiring technology developers to obtain a no objection certificate (NUIT) from the state governments. Field trials languished until March 2014 when GEAC was reconvened under the previous government and field trials for several new crop events were approved. More were approved in the following two months. Le nouveau gouvernement a été élu en mai de 2014 et a tranquillement commencé des essais sur le terrain sur des cultures supplémentaires en août.

According to the Agricultural Attach, les entreprises semencières privées indiennes et les instituts de recherche du secteur public participent au développement de cultures biotechnologiques pour la tolérance aux ravageurs et aux herbicides, amélioration nutritionnelle, drought tolerance and higher yields. Crops being developed by public sector institutions include banana, chou, manioc, choufleur, pois chiche, coton, aubergine, colza / moutarde, Papaye, pois cajan, Patate, riz, tomate, pastèque et blé. Les entreprises semencières privées se concentrent sur le chou, choufleur, blé, colza / moutarde, gombo, pois cajan, riz et tomate, et technologies de nouvelle génération (événements empilés) for cotton. Note that many crops are being researched by both groups.

le Reuters article reported biotech crops are part of Prime Minister Modi’s effort to increase productivity in low yielding crops and substitute for arable land lost to urbanization. This will be partly a repeat of the Green Revolution in the 1960s that introduced high-yielding seed varieties for food grains and the use of fertilizer and irrigation. The challenge now is edible oils and vegetables which are increasingly in demand. Edible vegetable oil is Indias third largest imported product after crude oil and gold and accounts for 60 percent of vegetables oil consumption. The biotech mustard plant now in field trails raises output by up to 30 pour cent.

GEAC has now approved two eggplants events for field trial. This is somewhat anti-climatic because Bangladesh, un voisin d'à côté, mise sur le marché de l’aubergine, sous réserve de la 2010 moratorium in India. In January 2014 Des plants d'aubergines Bt ont été donnés à 20 farmers for planting. They harvested the benefits of fruit and shoot borer control that Indian farmers have been denied. An additional 100 des agriculteurs ont été ajoutés pour la récolte d'hiver, avec une nouvelle expansion prévue pour cette année.

GEAC a également approuvé dans 2014 quatre événements de soja supplémentaires destinés à être importés et utilisés pour l'alimentation animale et humaine (pour un total de cinq). This was critical since most of the soybeans and products traded in the world have some of these events, with more events in the biotech soybean development pipeline. India has a zero tolerance for unapproved events. Some could be approved for planting in India to increase domestic production.

Monsieur. Modi has anti-biotech opponents in his own political party who fear reliance on seeds patented by multinational companies like Monsanto. India itself has shown that those companies can provide technology that is not yet available domestically, les avantages sont importants et les sources nationales de semences publiques et privées ont un rôle à jouer.

All this activity does not mean that it will be smooth sailing ahead. Groups like Greenpeace continue to oppose the use of biotechnology. Court cases are yet to be settled. Public funding for research on biotech crops must compete with other uses of government funds. While India is a potential market for private companies, there are limits to patience. They have already lost five years in product development and regulatory maturation.

Les avantages d'une moindre utilisation des pesticides, higher yields through better pest control and safe use in developed and developing countries will continue to encourage public official and farmers to work with all types of biotech crops. Putting technology in the seed is a cost effective way of reaching thousands of limited resource farmers. The challenge is to put together the regulatory structure and technology platforms that allow that to happen.

Ross Korves est un commerce et analyste politique économique avec vérité sur le commerce & La technologie (http://www.truthabouttrade.org). Suivez nous: @TruthAboutTrade et @World_Farmers onTwitter| La vérité sur le commerce & Technology onFacebook.