FSII raises concern over challenges and risks of illegal selling of unapproved GM cotton seeds

By Sutanuka Ghosal

Kolkata : The Federation of Seed Industry of India (FSII) on Wednesday raised its concern on the increased challenges and risks of illegal selling of unapproved GM cotton seeds during the ensuing Kharif season to Indian cotton farmers. In the recent past, some newspaper publications have highlighted the growing menace of few state level local companies producing and selling Bt. cotton hybrid seeds to cotton growing farmers with unapproved GM technologies like Ht. (Herbicide Tolerance) in some cotton growing states in India.

Dr. Ramasami, Chairman of FSII, while highlighting his concern for farmers, agricultural practices and cotton production in India said, “Such unauthorized sale of cotton seeds with unapproved technologies can put our farmers at possible risk of significant farming losses, without recourse like farmer insurance claims, owing to its unregulated production and distribution. We would sincerely request concerned government authorities and stakeholders to to take strict action against perpetrators in accordance with local laws. Indian farmers are always enthusiastic to demand and accept the latest tools and technologies for their crops to counter varied challenges in their fields. Their demands can be met only through innovative tools and technologies introduced responsibly and in compliance with due regulatory processes and laws of the country.”

Dr Arvind Kapur, Vice Chairman, FSII added, “FSII and its member companies stand resolved to cooperate with the regulators to identify these illegal players who are tarnishing the image of research based seed companies and causing possible farming threats to local farmers.”

FSII, the voice of the research based Indian seed Industry and its member companies comprising of major players in the INR 5000 crore seed market in India, is committed to follow systems and best agronomic practices, seed regulations, regulated application of science and technology to Indian agriculture systems, high investments in research & development, transferring knowledge and skills to the farming community, thus producing and selling high quality seeds to ensure higher gains without any possible risks for Indian farmers.

Mr Bipin Solanki, Senior Vice Chairman, FSII further added, “Regulatory and legal compliances are of highest priority for FSII members, who are committed to adopt and bring in technology applications to Indian agriculture legally through sustained research and innovations, while understanding the needs of the Indian farmers.”

FSII and its member companies believe that all such technologies would play an important role in positioning Indian agriculture as a major player on the global stage while helping to achieve the government’s objective of “Doubling Farmers’ Income by 2022.” FSII will continue to provide unstinted support to the Government of India’s initiatives whilst keeping the interests of India’s farmers paramount. FSII members commit their unstinted support to the government and regulatory agencies in this endeavor.

Source: Economic Times

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