Factor in royalty while deciding cottonseed price, urges industry

For the first time, cotton is going to outshine paddy in Andhra Pradesh. The area under paddy has seen a decline in the kharif, while that of cotton witnessed significant increase.

“Farmers in the State have sown cotton on 22 lakh hectares (lh) far surpassing the season normal of 15.60 lh. The area under paddy, however, has seen decline at 20 lh against the normal area of 26 lh,” P. Sateesh Kumar, President of Seedsmen Association of Andhra Pradesh, said.

“The season is coming to a close and we expect no significant recovery in paddy. So, cotton has emerged as the top crop in the State,” he said.

He pointed out that the seed industry could meet the unprecedented demand for cottonseed. He, however, admitted that there was a shortage for one hybrid variety (of Mahyco). “But for that, there has been no shortage,” he said.

Royalty payments

Cottonseed firms in Andhra Pradesh have asked the State Government to factor in the full royalty payments they make while calculating seed price.

“The government is considering just Rs 90 as royalty payouts (to Mahyco-Monsanto for Bt technology). But we are paying Rs 190 a packet of 450 gm,” Sateesh Kumar said.

“As a result, we are hardly making Rs 20 on a packet,” he told Kanna Lakshminarayana, Andhra Pradesh Minister for Agriculture on Tuesday.

Satish Kumar was addressing the 17{+t}{+h} annual general meeting (AGM) of the association.

Kanna Lakshminarayana has asked the industry to keep tabs on the firms that resort to unwanted methods. “Since the national level Bill on Seeds is being delayed, we have decided to bring in the Bill at state level. We are going to take opinions of all stakeholders before finalising the Bill,” he said.

kurmanath.kanchi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 26, 2012)
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