Indian seed companies: GMO cotton price control will hurt investment in development

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The latest row over royalty relating to Monsanto and the subsequent intervention by the Centre to set a uniform price across the country would have long-term implications on farm sector research, industry players said.

Seed technology developers such as Bioseed and Rasi Seeds among others are jittery over the current developments and feel that the move to control prices would stifle innovation, besides hurting the private investments into agriculture research and technology availability.

. . . .

Developing a new hybrid seed or a transgenic technology is a time-consuming process as the research and product development cycles are pretty long.

“It takes about eight years to develop a hybrid and about 10-12 years to come out with a technology. As a developer, if I face any uncertainty relating to sharing of the value, it does not motivate me to invest further,” [Paresh Verma, Research Director of Bioseed, a DCM Shriram Group company] said.

. . . .

“Developers should be given the freedom to price their produce,” said M Ramasami, CEO of Salem-based Rasi Seeds Pvt Ltd, which is developing a transgenic rice resistant to stem borer and also Bt brinjal.

. . . .

For the North Indian cotton growing regions of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, where cotton leaf curl virus (CLCV) is a major issue, Rasi Seeds has introduced special hybrid that is resistant to the virus.

“As a result, we were commanding a premium. But with the uniform price set by the government, we will be losing ₹50 per packet of 450 grams in the region,” Ramasami said.

Read full, original post: Price control may hurt investment in seed sector

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