1. After championing GM crops, PM Narendra Modi gives in to RSS/VHP, clamps price control

After championing GM crops, PM Narendra Modi gives in to RSS/VHP, clamps price control

As chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi presided over an agricultural transformation led by genetically modified (GM) Bt Cotton, and for over a decade, the state saw farm growth of over 10% per year.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: December 11, 2015 9:08 PM
gm crops, cotton crops, gm crops championing, crops price, crops price control, narendra modi, narendra modi rss, narendar modi vhp, rss, vhp, rss on gm crops

With agriculture facing an uncertain future due to climate change-driven extreme weather events, you would think Modi would further champion the cause of GM crops which are already beginning to offer solutions to extreme aridity/flooding/salinity, but the Centre has decided to put price controls on Bt seeds. (AP)

As chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi presided over an agricultural transformation led by genetically modified (GM) Bt Cotton, and for over a decade, the state saw farm growth of over 10% per year. As the PM, while Modi recast the Planning Commission as the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, his agricultural policies (Niti, in Hindi) are looking quite regressive. With agriculture facing an uncertain future due to climate change-driven extreme weather events, you would think Modi would further champion the cause of GM crops which are already beginning to offer solutions to extreme aridity/flooding/salinity, but the Centre has decided to put price controls on Bt seeds. This has been the demand of various Sangh parivar outfits, and states like Maharashtra and Telengana have already imposed price controls – Maharashtra cut the price of Bt I and II by Rs 100 per bag this year while Telengana slashed the royalty from Rs 163 to Rs 50. While the Centre has not announced a price for Bt cotton in its price control order, a committee will fix prices each year.

If Bollgard-II was the last seed that Monsanto was developing, unfair as they are, the Maharashtra/Telangana actions – and now, the centre’s – may not have mattered as much. But, as in the case of antibiotics, the effect of Monsanto’s protein-enhancement wears off over a period of time. Which is why, the firm is in the process of getting regulatory approvals for a combination of Bollgard-II with its Roundup Ready Flex herbicide, and even a Bollgard-III. And with its $1.7 billion global R&D spending each year, Monsanto’s R&D budget exceeds that of the Indian government. Since Monsanto’s royalty does not even add up to 1% of the cost of cultivation, you would have thought Modi would have tried to persuade at least the chief ministers of BJP-ruled states to be reasonable, to appreciate that without adequate compensation, no GM seeds firm will bring its products to India. While the centre can, theoretically, fix a reasonable price for GM firms to sell here, by agreeing to price controls, Modi has given in to the anti-reforms fringe.

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    finvision
    Dec 12, 2015 at 3:29 am
    GM crops don't offer solutions to extreme aridity/salinity farm conditions, any agriculturist worth his salt will tell you that loss of fertility in Soil is the main reason & organic farming is the solution for Indian Conditions US & Europe have banned GM crops in particular BT cottton Every year farmers have to buy the seed from Monsanto increasing the cost of production & in the long run it will effect the Microbial flora , susceptible to more diseases which also Leads to horizontal drug resistance which is already witnessed by farmers across Maharastra, Telegana & AP If we want to prevent farmers suicides mainly in Cotton crops across India,Sustainable growth in agriculture farming is the only way available. Evergreen Horticultural Technologies
    Reply
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      finvision
      Dec 12, 2015 at 3:06 am
      is this paid news by Monsanto?
      Reply
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        N. B
        Dec 12, 2015 at 4:25 am
        This is absolutely wrong view. The efforts to fix prices are aimed at controlling the high profit margins enjo by the firm for a long time. It is surprising that the article has no writer as such . Your esteemed paper should also take into account the farmers suicides in Vidarbha , AP .
        Reply
        1. R
          Rajesh Kumar K
          Dec 12, 2015 at 4:26 am
          MODI should leave those terror organizations ASAP.
          Reply
          1. S
            sanjoy kumar
            Dec 12, 2015 at 6:03 pm
            i hope price control will be reduce, more reveniue collection, coruption free country, poper judgement, black money holders list already came, thinks for rate of int of fixed ets, bad debtors will come below. to stop paralal black money is roated. every thinks will be solve by our p.m , f.m. , home., defence, now p.m has try best level to solve major problem. all are depens to take time. i am wishing to gov to solve as early posible.
            Reply
            1. W
              welingkar
              Dec 12, 2015 at 4:10 am
              "Which is why, the firm is in the process of getting regulatory approvals for a combination of Bollgard-II with its Roundup Ready Flex herbicide," Pray tell me what is the relation between a gene-tinkered protein enhancement in the cotton crop for fighting pests to a herbicide? Your writer does not bother to ask Monsanto how is a herbicide going to help farmers who may be buying its latest Bollgard-II. I guess copying from Monsanto literature is easier than asking questions? It is easier to say Modi has given in to the anti-reforms fringe than to ask Monsanto why did its cotton crops fail in Punjab where pests decimated the crops. I guess for the Financial Express, such questions don't come easily as they are uncomfortably "anti-reform"?
              Reply
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