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India: Cotton seed firms no longer need NOC from license providersqrcode

−− This could enable cotton seed manufacturers to develop their own varieties using existing tech

Jun. 5, 2017

Favorites Print Jun. 5, 2017
Cotton seed companies will no longer require a no-objection certificate (NoC) from licence providers for developing new varieties based on the latter's technology.

The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority has waived the condition. All seed companies had to mandatorily get a NoC from the Authority every time they wanted to develop a new variety based on the registered technology.

The waiver could open the door for many more companies to develop hybrid cotton seed varieties based on Monsanto’s Bollgard-2 technology. “The NoC greatly hampered the growth of small and medium seed companies, those denied access to the technology” said Kalyan Goswami, executive director, National Seed Association of India.

Now, he said, all 350-odd small and medium cotton seed entities could develop new varieties. Monsanto India declined to comment.

"Removal of NOC from GEAC and PPVFRA would enable Indian seed companies engaged in Bt cotton to apply for their Bt cotton Hybrid approval and sales without signing the one-sided license agreement with Monsanto," said Goswami, adding, this condition greatly hampered the growth of small & medium seed companies those who were denied access to the technology.

He said that after the order all the over 350-odd small and medium cotton seed firms in India could develop new seed varieties. NSAI had been requesting the government to make the change. When contacted Monsanto India declined to comment on the development.

Meanwhile, a section of the seed companies, including license holders, alleged that some companies have been pressing that NOC requirement should be withdrawn for a patented product and replace it with a mere confirmation of getting the license in a proper manner.

They also alleged that entire waive off has been influenced by people who are party to dispute between seed companies and license holders.

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