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Some Indian farmers replacing Monsanto seed with local varietyqrcode

Aug. 4, 2016

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Aug. 4, 2016
Thousands of cotton farmers in north India are switching from Monsanto Co.'s Bt cotton seeds to a new local variety of the crop.

The Indian government already has capped the prices and royalties Monsanto is allowed to charge in the country, and the government is now promoting the new "desi," or indigenous, cotton seeds, Reuters reports.

Officials estimates that 72,280 hectares of the local seeds have been planted in northern India this year, up from 3,000 hectares last year. While that is a small percentage of India's overall cotton fields, it may still be a setback for Monsanto, Reuters reports. The company also is dealing with a 10 percent decline in cotton acreage in India this year as more farmers are planting other crops following a whitefly blight that hit the country's cotton crop last year.

Kalyan Goswami, executive director of the National Seed Association of India, told Reuters that Monsanto's sales of Bt cotton seeds in India have fallen 15 percent thus far in 2016.

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