New Delhi,The Centre has increased the maximum sale price of genetically modified Bt cotton seed by 5 per cent to Rs 767 per packet for the 2021-22 season, which the industry hailed saying it will help introduce modern varieties in future.
There are two varieties of Bt cotton seeds sold in the country. Bolgard-II variety has the largest share, while Bolgard-I has less than 5 per cent at present in the country.
According to a government notification, the maximum sale price of Bolgard-II (BG-II) Bt cotton seed has been increased to Rs 767 per packet of 450 grams for the 2021-22 season (October-September) from Rs 730 per packet last year.
However, the maximum sale price of Bolgard-I (BG-I) has been kept unchanged at Rs 635 per packet for the 2021-22 season.
Welcoming the government”s decision, Federation of Seed Industry and Alliance of Agri Innovation Director General Ram Kaundinya said, “We are glad that the government has seen merit in our argument and agreed for a five per cent price increase.”
Stating that India”s pre-eminent position in global cotton market is in danger of being lost, Kaundinya said this is because cotton yields and production in the country has stagnated due to declining investment in breeding and lack of new technology introduction.
The rise in Bt cotton prices was necessary to bring newer technology and boost cotton production from the current level of 3.7 crore bales to 5.7 crore bales by 2027, he added.
Besides, the industry body also demanded that in the long term, the government should remove the price control completely. It added that this will encourage more investments to flow into the introduction of modern technologies and seed varieties into the market. PTI