Price regulation upsets seed companies

Price regulation upsets seed companies
Highlights

As many as 11 seed companies, including Monsanto, Mahyco, Syngenta and domestic firm Rasi Seeds, have questioned industry body NSAI’s support for cotton seed price regulation.

New Delhi: As many as 11 seed companies, including Monsanto, Mahyco, Syngenta and domestic firm Rasi Seeds, have questioned industry body NSAI’s support for cotton seed price regulation.

The agriculture ministry on December 7 had issued Cotton Seeds Price (Control) Order to fix a uniform maximum retail price (MRP) on all cotton seeds, including the genetically modified versions, from March.

It had also decided to fix and regulate the seed value and licensee fee, including royalty or trait value.

In three different letters to the National Seeds Association of India (NSAI), which is led by Hyderabad-based Nuziveedu Seeds chairman M. Prabhakar Rao, the companies said the body’s support for price regulation will have wide ramifications.

But cotton is the only GM crop allowed for commercial cultivation in the country. Telangana is one of major producers of cotton in the country.

“It is apparent that the actions, which have significant and wide-ranging ramifications for all its members, have been taken pursuant to deliberations amongst a small group of dominant member companies that have chosen to prioritise their short-term commercial interests over the interests of the larger group members,” one letter said.

The companies also said the NSAI actively sought nationwide regulation of cotton seed prices.

“We also understand that the NSAI has sought to defend the Cotton Seed Price Control Order in the court despite having in the past challenged other price regulations before various courts.

“We urge NSAI to refrain from pursuing such action presently and consult and obtain concurrence of all its member companies,” the letter added.

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