ABSTRACT OF PAPER
Title: BT COTTON TECHNOLOGY, LAND USE AND BIODIVERSITY
Author: Bakhsh Khuda, Hassan Sarfraz
The present research article makes an attempt to investigate land area allocated to Bt cotton production its possible effects on diversity of cotton seed. Panel data were collected randomly from three different districts of Pakistani Punjab from 2008-09 to 2009-10. Results show that farmers allocate larger land to Bt cotton overtime-around 70 percent cotton area under Bt cotton, indicating alarming situation of non-availability of diverse nature of cotton seed for future research and development if this process continues with the same space. Other important aspects of planting Bt cotton are that although Bt cotton adoption results in increased crop yield and reduced pesticide use, the demand for costly inputs, such as fertilizer and irrigation water is comparatively more in Bt cotton than conventional varieties. Results of Cobb Douglas type production function show that coefficient of irrigation water is statistically different from zero and positively related with cotton yield. Moreover, statistics show that ground water pumped for irrigation purpose is becoming brackish with the passage of time. Since Bt cotton demands for more irrigation water induced by large amount of application of fertilizer, application of brackish tube-well water deteriorates land fertility. Thus adoption of Bt has three types of significant impacts in the form of less diversity in cotton seed, more use of ground water due to shortage of canal water and resulting higher cost of production. The data and statistics we have estimated on the economic impacts of Bt cotton technology on the input use provide course of action to policymakers, plant breeders and other stakeholders to make decisions about the appropriate levels of investment and support needed to develop new varieties and hybrids having less demand for natural resources, particularly water in the era of water scarcity, an outcome of climate change.
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