An RSS affiliate has urged the Centre to reduce the prices of BT Cotton seeds by Rs 25 to provide relief to farmers suffering from the low yields of the crop. In a letter to Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), affiliated to the RSS - BJP's ideological fountainhead, has asked him to announce reduction in trait value of BT Cotton seeds and fix its price at Rs 775. "We believe that there is a lapse in trait value fixation by the Committee and request you to initiate action for examining the facts and reducing the trait value to Rs 25 and make the MSP of BT Cotton seeds price to Rs 775 for the benefit of the farmers. "Even at Rs 25, the entire sale revenue will be in excess of Rs 10 crore to Monsanto, that too, even after 10 years of launch of the trait during which they collected more than Rs 7,000 crore from the farmers," SJM's national co-convener Ashwani Mahajan said. He said keeping in view the Narendra Modi government's policy, the SJM requests you to kindly reduce the trait value for BT Cotton seeds from Rs 49 to Rs 25 for giving relief to the farmers, who are suffering from its low yield. He also lauded the government's efforts for taking steps to make BT Cotton seed price uniform throughout the country and also for regulating the trait value which was collected at exorbitant levels by Monsanto on BT Cotton seeds in India for more than 12 years. "We also understand from the farmers that efficacy of the BT trait has come down substantially in last two years.
The guidelines of trait value fixation have also indicated to reduce trait value at the rate of 10 per cent per year. "Based on your Ministry recommendations, DIPP issued notice to Monsanto under Section 66 of Patent Act to revoke Patent as Bollworms developed resistance to it," he said. Mahajan said in view of this, it was anticipated that trait value would be reduced from Rs 49 to Rs 25 and this would reduce BT Cotton seed prices at least by Rs 25.
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