The state government of the western Indian state of Maharashtra has announced a ban on the sale of Bt cotton seeds supplied by Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (MMB), a joint venture between Mahyco, Maharashtra and Monsanto Holdings Pvt. Ltd., USA.
The decision was announced by Agriculture Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil in the state Legislative Assembly.
The Minister said the decision to ban Bt cotton seeds in the state was taken after the government received several complaints from the farming community alleging MMB of supplying sub-standard seeds.
However, the government is yet to clarify whether the ban on MMB would also be applicable to the 28 Indian seed companies to whom the company has sub-licensed Bollgard I and Bollgard II technologies since 2005.
Interestingly, India is the leading Bt cotton cultivating country, with its area under Bt cotton to have grown from about 400,000 hectares a decade earlier to 12.6 million hectares today.
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India