Udaipur, Nov 7 (IANS) Farmers’ income can be increased without adopting Genetically Modified (GM) crops, said a Rajasthan Minister on Tuesday, adding that his government had achieved the feat by bringing innovations in traditional farming practices and encouraging farmers to harvest cash crops.
The state government’s efforts to convince farmers to harvest commercial and exotic crops such as olives, quinoa had paid off, said Agriculture Minister Prabhu Lal Saini on the sidelines of Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet here.
“We do not want any interference with our traditional mustard varieties. Also, we do not need GM technology since our non-GM varieties are yielding more. With the help of integrated farming that include poultry, fishery, we have already increased farmers’ income. In addition, we have started cultivation of dates, olives, quinoa, which are cash crops,” Saini said.
The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), a regulator under the Union Environment Ministry, deferred approval to the commercial release of GM variety of Mustard.
Saini added that the government had generated revenue of Rs 189 crore in last two years by promoting commercial harvest of medicinal plants and forest produce.
“We have also started aquaculture despite water scarcity in the state,” he said.
The government said that the state’s agriculture growth rate had increased to 6.37 per cent this year from 3.12 per cent a year ago.