The government of Maharashtra has directed the companies selling hybrid cotton seeds to specify in detail the technology used in production of seeds on the pack, reports Financial Express. Seed companies in Maharashtra and other cotton producing states have expressed displeasure at this decision.
Dilip Zende, director, quality control, Department of Agriculture, Maharashtra, told Financial Express that the decision has been taken to empower farmers and give them the opportunity to bargain for better prices with dealers depending on the method of production used by companies. One of the methods is more expensive than others, and therefore, farmers should get the benefit.
From the next cotton season (Kharif 2021), seed companies will have to mention whether hybrid cotton seeds have been produced by the conventional emasculation method or the male sterility technique, he said. The emasculation method is much more expensive than the male sterility technique, Zende explained.
The National Seeds Association of India (NSAI) has opposed the move, claiming it will result in higher cost and will hinder inter-state movement of seeds. Indra Shekhar Singh, director (policy and outreach) of NSAI, said there is no clarity in how farmers will benefit by such a move. What advantage farmers will have by knowing that a particular packet of seeds has been produced by using a certain technology,” he asked. “The data which are being sought to be printed on the packets, are already with the government,” he added.