Andhra Pradesh: Govt Petition to halt Monsanto et al.'s extravagant over-pricing of Bt cotton seeds Print E-mail
 Thursday December 29 2005

State to act against Bt cotton seed firms

Hyderabad, Dec. 28: The State government has finally decided to crack the whip on companies selling Bt cotton seeds in view of complaints from farmers that traders have been charging a whopping Rs 1,800 for a 450-gm bag of seeds.

The State government will file a petition before the Monopoly and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) on January 2, 2006, urging it to rope in Monsanto and other companies holding patent for Bt cotton in the country. The government decided to seek MRTPC's help after all efforts to convince seed companies to reduce the price failed.

"We have strong data in our favour to force the companies to reduce the prices. We will place all the relevant files before the commission," Mr Raghuveera Reddy said. Though Bt cotton has been a major failure in several parts of the State, farmers in some pockets still prefer the crop. Taking advantage of farmers' ignorance, traders have priced a bag of 450 grams of Bt cotton seeds at Rs 1,800. Of this Rs 1200 goes to the patent holder as royalty. Mr Raghuveera Reddy also described the royalty collected by seed companies as "rowdy mamool" and vowed to put an end to the menace.