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Govt bodies reject Bt cotton seed firms proposal
Jun '10
Cotton growing state's government have rejected the proposals sent by various firms for raising the price of Genetically Modified (GM), (Bt) cotton seeds.

Owing to surge in the cost of labourers by 35 percent, companies producing Bt cotton seeds have urged for an increment in the price of a 40-seed packet of BG1 variety from the current price of Rs 650 to Rs 850 and for the BG2 variety from Rs 750 to Rs 1,050. But this proposal has been rejected by all governments, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh.

According to the government bodies, rise in seed costs will also surge the input costs for farmers, thereby, initiating an increase in cost in the value chain.

Currently, the Indian seed market is valued around Rs 65 billion. Of this, cotton alone is valued around Rs 25 billion, of which the Bt variety is of 80-90 percent. One packet of non-Bt seed is priced at Rs 300, the same as last year.

According to a seed producing company official, companies are unhappy with the fixed selling price of Bt cotton seeds and the state governments' control over the same. They want the prices to be decided or declared after the market dynamics are studied thoroughly. This, they feel, will help generate competition and provide wider choice for the seed buyers.

Supporting this suggestion, made by the companies, is the Association of Biotech Led Enterprises (Able). Around 60 firms produce Bt cotton seeds, thereby, providing over 300 goods across six technologies. More so, while the prices of other seeds have seen an increment by 50 – 100 percent, that of Bt cotton seed prices have not changed.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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