Cotton Bales

The Federation of Seed Industry of India (FSII) has urged the Union and State governments to crack down on unlawful seed producers who’re promoting unapproved HTBt (herbicide-tolerant Bt cottonseeds) in varied states. The affiliation claimed that the sale of unlawful seeds has reached epidemic proportions, claiming that farmers should have spent Rs 500 crore final yr on the packets, which value a whopping Rs 1,500 every.

“We demand that portable kits be made available to agricultural field officers in order for them to test cottonseed production areas and destroy crops where HTBt is found,” the assertion stated.

According to the affiliation, which represents research-based seed corporations with mixture seed gross sales of greater than 5,000 crores, the widespread sale of unlawful HTBt cottonseeds is inflicting losses for seed corporations, the federal government, and to the farmers.

According to the FSII, roughly 90 lakh packets (450 gm every) of cottonseed will flood the market this yr, accounting for practically 20% of the nation’s 120 lakh hectares of cotton space.

It was claimed that the sale of unlawful HTBt seeds has elevated dramatically in recent times, and that unlawful HTBt seeds are being grown in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh.

“In 2020, approximately 30 lakh packets of illegal HTBt cotton were sold.” This elevated to 75 lakh packets in 2021, and it’s anticipated to cross the 90-lakh mark this Kharif,” FSII Director-General Ram Kaundinya stated.

“The success of Bt cotton has given farmers hope that they will adopt the next technology, HTBt cotton.” Farmers in India have been unable to legally undertake HTBt cotton as a result of regulatory approvals are pending, he stated in a press release on Tuesday. He claims that farmer organizations have been illegally rising it throughout the nation for the previous three years.

“Because of the presence of herbicide trait and the trait to control pink bollworm, as claimed by the illegal operators on their packs, this illegal HTBt cotton marketed under several brand names is sold for nearly 1,500 per packet.” “This is significantly higher than the government-set price,” he defined.

Farmers buying unlawful seeds, based on Shivendra Bajaj, Executive Director of FSII, have been placing themselves in danger as a result of there was no accountability.

“The government is losing revenue from tax collection, which is endangering the entire legal cotton seed market in the country.” Once it enters the market, this can be very tough to regulate. “It has to be contained in the production fields, ginning factories, and warehouses,” he defined.

Over the final 4 years, Indian cotton growers have been cultivating HTBt cottonseed, which is unlawful as a result of the Centre has not approved it for industrial sale. They have been rising the unlawful seeds regardless of authorities warnings as a result of they’re searching for cotton varieties that may assist them fight insect and pest threats corresponding to pink bollworm.

Currently, area trials of genetically modified crops have to be permitted by the states earlier than they are often thought-about for industrial sale. This, specifically, has stymied any progress on the GM crop entrance.

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First revealed on: 26 Apr 2022, 09:31 IST



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