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Monsanto holds 90% market share of Bt cotton seeds

January 21, 2010 (India)

Monsanto, the US based seed manufacturer will reap roughly around Rs 3.4 billion from licensing exclusively owned rights of Bollgard (BG) gene traits to Bt cotton hybrid seed manufacturing companies in India in the current fiscal year (2009-10).

Cotton seeds produced from Monsanto’s patented seeds account for a staggering near 90 market share of the around 27-27.5 million packets Bt cotton seeds sold in India, with the rest accounted for by other domestic firms from other patented technologies.

As per official figures, 80 per cent of the overall cotton crop cultivated in India is from Bt seeds and the area under Bt cotton has been growing between four and five per cent a year, particularly in regions with good irrigation facilities.

Bt cotton seeds have generally helped cotton farmers increase their yields due to their intrinsic and inherent qualities of being able to ward off attacks from pests and is also able to generate higher incomes from the same.

In the 2009 planting season, 3.5-4.0 million of the 25 million Bt cotton seed packets sold by Monsanto in India, were sold in the Northern markets of Punjab, Rajasthan and Punjab, of which the first genre BG-I accounted for 60 percent and BG-II, 40 per cent.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India
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