Agri Business

AP Govt puts off decision on cottonseed pricing

K. V. Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on March 18, 2011 Published on March 18, 2011


The Andhra Pradesh Government has deferred the decision on allowing seed companies to increase prices, with farmers putting up a strong opposition. The Government would hold another round of discussions with representatives of seed companies, seed growers and commercial cotton growers after 10 days.

Compensation

“We have opposed the move to increase seed prices. The companies have failed to compensate the seed growers properly. We have asked the Government and seed firms to clarify on how much money they will pay to the seed growers,” Mr S Rama Rao, State Secretary of CPI(M)-affiliated Andhra Pradesh Rythu Sangham, told Business Line after the meeting.

Andhra Pradesh had put a cap on BG-II seed at Rs 750 and BG-I seed at Rs 650, while reducing the trait value (royalty) paid to the Bollgard technology provider Mahyco-Monsanto.

Mr Nagendrudu, who represented AP Seed Growers' Association, said it was the growers who bore the brunt of increase in cost of production. “We are spending Rs 1.60 lakh on an acre as we rear the nursery. But we are paid just Rs 300 for a packet of 750 gram, while the companies spend a little and sell it to commercial farmers at Rs 750 for 450 gram,” he said.

“They should first spell out how much they would like to increase compensation. We demand a compensation of Rs 500 for 750 gram,” he said.

Their assurance in this regard would hold the key because the growers would take a call whether they should take up seed growing for the following season. As it is thousands of farmers have shifted to commercial farming. “The trend would only grow if uncertainty continues,” he argued.

The Friday meeting assumed significance on two counts. It is important for seed companies to prepare their market and distribution strategies ahead of the despatches for the kharif season. Any decision by Andhra Pradesh Government would influence the pricing of the seed in other cotton growing States.

Seed firms plea

After meeting the farmers' representatives, Mr Y S Vivekananda Reddy, the Minister for Agriculture, held discussions with representatives of Seedsmen Association and National Seed Association of India (NSAI). “We have explained to them our point of view. They heard patiently and assured us that they would hold another meeting next week,” a company executive, who attended the meeting, said.

Published on March 18, 2011
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