By admin       2018-05-28

Atul Ganatra, President, Cotton Association of India (CAI), the apex cotton trade body, feels that the government’s move to cut prices of Bt cottonseeds is a populist one to please a large population of farmers. “The reduction in trait value will directly impact the technology providers. BG-II has become ineffective as the bollworms have developed immunity against this gene. We may need newer technology to produce more cotton,” Ganatra says. He adds: “Farmers are unable to get authorised good quality seeds. Last year it was believed that about 35 lakh packets out of the total sale of 4.5 crore packets were unauthorised seeds. We fear there will be 30 per cent rise in such practices this year. This will have an adverse impact on yield and quality of cotton. It is reflected in the prices as India cotton prices are about 10-20 per cent lower as compared to international cotton.” J Thulasidharan, President, Indian Cotton Federation, says the Government should look at this issue strategically, considering that the cotton chain is the biggest employer in the country. “Bt cotton has lost its value as the yields and quality of the fibre are declining. At this rate we see India ending up as a net importer of cotton over the next two-to-three years,” he says. As it takes at least seven years to develop technology, Thulasidharan says the Government should allow MNCs to bring in the latest technology, which could help the textiles industry sustain its competitiveness

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