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Maharashtra issues notices to Bt seed firms
Jun '11
The Maharashtra State Agriculture Department has issued show-cause notices to leading Bt cotton seed companies in the State, as these firms have failed to adhere to their supply plans.

Presently, 83 seed firms hold a licence to sell Bt cotton seeds in Maharashtra, which include 22 producer-seller firms.

The notices were issued as, in spite of their promise to supply seeds to the dealers well in advance before the sowing season, there were several complaints from the dealers regarding undue delays by firms in providing the seeds.

It was stated that all the firms promised to supply around 22 million seed packets to dealers in the State, but have supplied only 55 to 65 percent of the commitment.

However, the seed companies claim that they have already supplied over 80 percent of their supply plan, and the shortage is due to the preference of the farmers for seeds of specific varieties.

There is hardly two percent of land in the State which has irrigation facilities and cotton cultivation takes place by third week of May. As per the agriculture department data, cotton sowing has been done on 78,000 hectares in Dhule, Nandurbar and Dhule regions.

As per the estimates of the State agriculture department, as over 95 percent of the area under cotton cultivation in the State is under Bt cotton cultivation, the State would require around 18 million Bt cotton seed packets (1 packet = 450 gm.) this year.

Meanwhile, the cotton cultivation acreage is also expected to expand by over 11 percent from last year's 4 million ha to 4.5 million ha this year.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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