Citing rising costs of production, the seed industry across the country has demanded a hike of R50 per pack on BT cotton seeds in the coming Kharif season.
Citing rising costs of production, the seed industry across the country has demanded a hike of R50 per pack on BT cotton seeds in the coming Kharif season. At present, BT cotton seeds are sold for R751 per pack of 450 gm. The demand has been put forth by industry body National Seed Association of India (NSAI) ahead of the Centre’s annual review meeting, which is slated to be held on March 6, seeking views of seed companies, NSAI, the representatives of government and non-government organisations and farmers’ bodies.
In the representation made to the joint secretary, (seeds), department of agriculture, NSAI has submitted a case for fixing the Minimum Support Price of cotton seeds for FY 2017-18. “The National Seed Association of India has been supporting the steps taken by the department of agriculture to regulate the cotton seed prices… including the components of the seed cost, trait value (inclusive of taxes) and trade discounts,” the association has said. “However, after the price order dated 08.03.2016, we have represented that the seed component of R751 considered for BG-II seeds and the MSP without any trait value for BT cotton seeds with single gene at R635, was inadequate to meet the costs,” it said.
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According to the association, due to inflation and also enhancement of minimum wages by the Centre, as well as increase of the MSP of cotton and other agri commodities, the seed production costs have enhanced substantially in the last one year.
The production costs for BT cotton seeds containing single gene or two gene technology are the same except the testing charges, certain R&D costs and trait value, Kalyani Goswami, executive director of NSAI, said in the representation. The association pointed out that the efficacy of the two gene Bollgard II trait has dwindled due to Pink Bollworm developing resistance and therefore the trait value may be reduced appropriately.