NEW DELHI: India must curb proliferation of unlawful seed expertise and implement a robust mental property regime to make sure that corporations put money into the agriculture sector and herald newest applied sciences, a high govt at Bayer CropScience that acquired Monsanto in 2016.

The German agriculture main has made illustration to the federal government on this regard, mentioned Simon Thorsten Wiebusch, chief working officer of Bayer CropScience Ltd, which final yr accomplished integration of Monsanto’s India enterprise with itself.

Indian farmers can profit from the German agency’s robust pipeline of merchandise if mutual belief is restored, he mentioned on the sidelines of Indian Seed Congress 2020 right here on Monday. The present state of affairs is legally stopping farmers to make use of the newest cotton expertise and making them much less aggressive in international markets in comparison with the USA, Brazil and Africa, he mentioned.

“The bollgard III expertise is in industrial planting in Australia and USA,” Wiebusch mentioned. “It provides improved safety in opposition to fall armyworm. Additionally, in analysis and growth section we’re working to resolve resistance of pink bollworm.”

In India, Monsanto launched its first-generation Bt cotton, known as Bollgard I (BG-I) in 2002 adopted by Bollgard II (BG-II) in 2006.

The herbicide-tolerant (HT) cottonseed expertise developed by Bayer, which has not but acquired permission from the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, is being grown illegally within the nation since 2018, he mentioned.

“They (farmers in India) are utilizing it regardless that it’s not even regulated, and supply of gross sales is just not even clear,” Wiebusch mentioned. “We have now approached the federal government to analyze the difficulty, clear up this case, and probably make the expertise authorized, as its clear that farmers want entry.”

In line with business insiders, the world beneath HT protection is over 10% of the 12.8-million-hectare cotton space within the nation.

Wiebusch mentioned as soon as it will get approval the corporate will take two to 4 years to launch the expertise. “It’s now a query on when we’ve got dialogue with the federal government on whether or not they wish to decontrol it and what kind of further data they require from us,” he mentioned. “We all know farmers in India are inclined to make use of expertise to supply extra and scale back dangers.”

Main cotton producing international locations like USA, Brazil and African international locations are transferring forward of India with new expertise, and competitiveness of Indian cotton in international commerce is eroding, Wiebusch mentioned. “By 2028, we anticipate India to account for 65% of space enhance however solely 33% of manufacturing enhance,” he mentioned.

Proliferation of unlawful HT expertise has excessive danger of resistance and trait-quality. “Presently, there isn’t a testing for gene expression or purity,” Wiebusch mentioned. “There isn’t a training on the fitting approach to make use of the seed and there’s no management on seed worth.”

The unlawful HT cotton seed was being quoted at Rs 1,000-1,500 per 450-gram packet in comparison with the federal government mounted worth of Bt cotton seed at Rs 730 per packet.


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