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Severe shortage of Bt cotton seeds likely in Maharashtra
May '11
Having failed to convince the Maharashtra government on the price hike, the Bt cotton seed companies have decided to wait before printing the new prices on the seed packets.

For this reason, the seed companies have not made the seeds available in the market. This, in turn, is likely to create a severe shortage of seeds in irrigated cotton cultivation regions. This is especially so because the sowing of seeds has already begun from the auspicious day of Akhsay Tritiya.

Meanwhile, the Bt cotton seed companies are trying to convince the government on the price hike by asking it to take cognizance of the increase in costs. The companies are pleading that the State governments have not increased Bt cotton seed prices for the last three years even though the cotton prices have more than doubled during the same period.

In Gujarat, the State government had announced an increase of Rs. 180 per bag for both varieties of Bt Cotton seeds – Bollgard (I) and Bollgard (II). But this was resented by the cotton farmers in the State.

Further, the Gujarat Cotton Seed Act, under which the cotton seed prices are controlled, has been struck down by the Gujarat High Court. In view of such developments, the Gujarat government has been forced to announce a rebate of Rs. 100 per packet of Bt cotton seeds sold at the 'Krishi Melas' for a maximum of two packets per farmer.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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