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May. 10, 2010

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May. 10, 2010

Indian cotton seed output dips


The production of cotton seed has decreased to 30 million packets this year from the 45 million packets two years ago. At this rate, there will be a shortfall of Bt cotton seed next year, according to the National Seed Association of India (NSAI).

Bt cotton seed that were in surplus during the last two years has declined due to farmers shifting to other lucrative farm areas from seed production. The demand and the supply of Bt cotton are now almost the same — 30 million packets. “It will be difficult to supply even 30 million packets,” said Paresh Verma, a member of NSAI and representing Shriram Bioseed Genetics India Limited.

There are about 200 members in NSAI of which 50 are in the business of cotton seed production. “Failure on the part of the companies to pay remunerative prices to the seed growers is one of the reasons for the farmers to shift to other crops,” he said.

NSAI president Uday Singh said the government should desist from controlling the price of Bt cotton seed. “There is already a shortage of Bt cotton seed in parts of northern India,” he told mediapersons.

The seed market in India is pegged at Rs 6,500 crore. Cotton seed accounts for about Rs 2,500 crore and nearly 90 per cent of this is from Bt cotton.

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