Cotton seed price cut evokes mixed response from farmers

Cotton seed price cut evokes mixed response from farmers
Highlights

The reduction of the prices of BT cotton seed evoked mixed response from various quarters. While the farmers’ organisation Kisan Morcha, affiliated to BJP, hailed the Union government’s decision, farmers affiliated to other farmers’ organsiations, made it clear that they would not be benefitted in anyway.  

Karimnagar: The reduction of the prices of BT cotton seed evoked mixed response from various quarters. While the farmers’ organisation Kisan Morcha, affiliated to BJP, hailed the Union government’s decision, farmers affiliated to other farmers’ organsiations, made it clear that they would not be benefitted in anyway.

All India Kisan Sabha vice-president S Malla Reddy said that farmers could get the same quantity of seeds at `230 from private seed producers and it requires `50 for processing and another `40 for packing. With a view to benefit the multinational companies, the government has fixed the highest price, he alleged

Farmers’ associations and experts in cotton sector opined that the farming community was not going to get any major benefit since BT variety cotton seed lost its disease resistance power. The non-BT varieties, including Bunny and Narsimha developed by NG Ranga Agricultural University are giving high yield, the agricultural experts said.

With a view to take a decision on cotton prices, the Central government has appointed a committee with the representatives of various farmers and officials. Based on the committee’s recommendations, the Centre issued a gazette on March 8, by reducing the prices of cotton seeds.

The price of a BT2 cotton seed packet was reduced from Rs 930 to Rs 800 while the BT1 has come down to Rs 630 from Rs 830. Speaking to The Hans India here on Friday, All India Kisan Sabha vice-president Sarampalli Malla Reddy informed that they had submitted a representation to the committee requesting the government to fix Rs 320 per a packet of 450 gm of seeds.

But their requested was not considered, he lamented. Malla Reddy said that farmers could get the same quantity of seeds at Rs 230 from private seed producers and it requires Rs 50 for processing and another Rs 40 for packing. With a view to benefit the multinational companies, the government has fixed the highest price.

The private unlicensed traders were ready to give at Rs 400 per packet, he alleged. On each packet a royalty of Rs 50 would be given to Monsanto company, which was collected from farmers though the firm has no patent on the seed. According to norms, a royalty should not be given to the company more than five years.

However, the royalty has been paid to Monsanto during the last 15 years and a total of Rs 1,600 crore was paid to the Company since 2000, he added. The cotton crop is being germinated in 2.40 crore acres across the country and the crop mainly cultivated in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka states. Telangana alone cultivates cotton in 42 lakh acres while it is produced in 15 lakh acres of land in Andhra Pradesh.

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