In an attempt to offer some respite to cotton farmers battered by repeated pest attacks and crop losses, the centre is likely to slash the price of genetically modified Bt cotton seeds as well as trait fees payable by domestic seed companies to technology developers.
The maximum sale price of a Bt cotton (Bollgard II) seed packet weighing 450g is likely to be reduced from Rs800 to Rs740, said a person familiar with the development, requesting anonymity.
The person added that the trait or royalty fee included in the sale price (which domestic seed companies pay to the technology developers) is likely to be reduced from Rs49 per packet to Rs39 per packet.
The committee has unanimously recommended that the government slash seed prices to Rs740 per packet and the agriculture ministry is expected to take a final call soon, said a member of the price control committee, who did not want to be named.
While the move will benefit nearly 8 million cotton growers in India, domestic seed companies will see their earnings fall by at least Rs50 per packet. Technology developer Monsanto Mahyco Biotech (India) Ltd will earn Rs10 less for each packet of cotton seeds sold in India.
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