Group opposes decision to control cotton seed price

New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) The government decided to control prices of cotton seeds, including the genetically modified versions, without consulting any technology provider or other stakeholders, a non-profit organisation that promotes agriculture biotechnology has said.

Opposing the Cotton Seeds Price (Control) Order, which was notified on December 7, the Association of Biotech-Led Enterprises – Agriculture-focused Group (ABLE-AG) said the government intended to control the licence fee, royalty trait fee and licensing terms on which technology providers make new technologies available to the farmers.

“While a part of the order seeks to determine maximum selling price of the cotton seed under the Essential Commodities Act, it surprisingly extends to fixing a component associated with innovation,” ABLE-AG Director-General Ram Kaundinya said in a statement.

He said the decision was taken without consulting any technology developer/provider or any other Stakeholder in general.

“Being an association committed to the improvement of Indian agriculture through biotechnology, we strongly oppose the order and the manner in which it was adopted.”

The agriculture ministry said in its order that it would control prices of cotton seeds, including the genetically modified versions, by fixing a uniform maximum sale price from March 2016.

India produces cotton worth $10 billion annually, of which the domestic market consumes $7.5 billion-worth. The remaining is exported.

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