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Govt cuts BT cotton seed price by Rs 10 per packet; royalty to Monsanto cut by half

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Centre has reduced the maximum sale price of genetically modified (GM) seeds by Rs 10 to Rs 730 per packet for the next fiscal to benefit farmers and also cut royalty to US-based provider by almost half to Rs 20 per packet.

German pharma and agrochemical Bayer, which has now acquired globally, expressed disappointment on reduction in royalty value.

This is the third year in a row when the Union ministry has reduced the maximum sale price of seeds and royalty.

According to a notification, the maximum sale price of a seeds packet (of 450 gm) has been fixed at Rs 730 for bollgard (BG)-II version, including Rs 20 for the trait value, for the 2019-20 fiscal. The rate is Rs 740 per packet, including Rs 39 for the trait value, in the current fiscal year.

The move will benefit eight million cotton growers and also increase the margin of domestic seed as royalty fee to Mahyco Biotech Ltd (MMBL), a Monsanto group firm, has been reduced sharply.

MMBL has sub-licensed to various seed in

"We are extremely disappointed with today's order that further cuts trait fees for cotton seeds across Trait fees were less than 0.5 per cent of the farmers' cost of cultivation and today's decision reduces them further," said in a statement.

"A predictable, fair and consistent business environment is extremely essential to attract future investments, innovation and growth in Indian agriculture," the added.

For the BG-I version, the maximum sale price has been kept unchanged at Rs 635 per packet with no trait value, the notification added.

The government started controlling prices of cotton seeds, including the GM versions, by fixing a uniform maximum sale price from March 2016.

is the only GM crop allowed for commercial cultivation in the country. Over the last decade, has been adopted on over 95 per cent of the country's cotton-growing area, making the second-largest and exporter of the cash crop.

In June 2018, completed the USD 63-billion mega deal to acquire Monsanto to create the world's biggest agro-and seed company.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 11 2019. 20:55 IST