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01.06.2021 |

The Return of Pink Bollworm in India’s Bt Cotton Fields: Livelihood Vulnerabilities of Farming Households in Karimnagar District

Abstract

Since its introduction in India, Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) cotton technology has been the object of controversial scholarly and non-academic debate. The recent return of pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella) pests in several Indian states has provided cause for concern about widespread resistances in Lepidopteran pests towards the endotoxins produced in Indian Bt cotton plants as well as about severe setbacks in regard to cotton farmers’ livelihood security. This study is the first to provide empirical evidence on the socio-economic consequences of recent bollworm attacks in India based on an exploratory study conducted in Karimnagar district, Telangana, India. It analyses the changed vulnerabilities that smallholders currently face and identifies the reasons why some peasant farmers can only deal with the consequences of this technological failure to a limited extent.

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