Bangladesh: Spread of hybrid rice degrading land, increasing pesticide use say experts
Posted: 13 January 2009
A January 5, 2009 article in Dhaka's Daily Star by Porimol Palma and M Rahman Liton says that the expanding cultivation of imported hybrid rice seeds in Bangladesh has increased the use of pesticides and degraded agricultural lands.
The article quotes from several national experts critical of the government's promotion of hybrid rice in the country and who worry that the "huge import of these sterile varieties will make farmers dependent on multinational seed companies."
According to an official of the agriculture ministry cited in the article, the government's target is for hybrid varieties to be cultivated on 1 million hectares in the upcoming Boro season, which will require around 14,000 tonnes of seeds. The same official said that of the required seed, companies will import around 11,000 tonnes from China, India or Philippines.