Agriculture University’s own Bt seed to cost less

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K. Srimali

It will be available for trials by next kharif

YSR the most progressive farmer, he says

Administrative building of KVK opened

GARIKAPADU (Krishna dist.): The Acharya N.G. Ranga Agriculture University (ANGRAU) is in the process of developing its own version of Bt cotton, which would be priced much less than the seed being sold by Mahyco-Monsanto.

Agriculture Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy said at a meeting of ‘Aadarsha Rythulu’ (progressive farmers) here on Thursday that the ANGRAU’s Bt cotton would be available for trials by the kharif of 2008 and for sale by the kharif of 2009. Each bag of this Bt cotton seed would be sold for just Rs.450, he added.

Long struggle

Mr. Reddy recalled the long struggle the Government had waged against Mahyco-Monsanto for bringing down the price of Bt cotton it was selling in the market. He said that as a result of the legal battle the Government had waged in the Monopolies Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) and later in the Supreme Court, Mahyco-Monsanto had to bring down the price of each bag of its Bt cotton from Rs.1,850 to Rs.750. This huge reduction in the price would help farmers in the State save Rs.2,000 crores a year.

Making light of the TDP’s criticism that only Congressmen were being picked up for ‘Aadarsha Rythulu’ programme, Mr. Reddy said: “Even if all the 25 lakh progressive farmers and 1.83 crore beneficiaries of various other welfare schemes are Congressmen, what’s wrong in that? How can the TDP expect to win farmers to its side after having branded agriculture a wasteful avocation?”

Launching a blistering attack on the TDP, the Minister said the success of the “farmer-friendly” Congress Government was evident from the way it had been able to make the TDP “prostrate before farmers”.

Crop insurance

Interacting with a few progressive farmers earlier, Mr. Reddy sought to know how the system was working in their villages and whether they had been able to inspire others by their good practices. “Before you preach others, you must set a precedent. Reduce the expenditure and increase the income,” he told them. The Minister described Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy as the “world’s most progressive farmer”.Mr. Reddy positively responded to an appeal made by Rural Water Supply Minister Pinnamaneni Venkateswara Rao for including Krishna district in the crop insurance scheme with village as unit.

“The Government will try to include Krishna district under this new pilot scheme from next year,” he assured the farmers.

The Minister earlier inaugurated a new Agricultural Polytechnic on the premises of Dr.K.L. Rao Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), which is one of the three new ones sanctioned by the Government this year. He also inaugurated an administrative and training building for the KVK. Jaggayyapeta MLA Samineni Udayabhanu presided over the meeting, which was attended by ANGRAU Vice-Chancellor S. Raghuvardhan Reddy, Agriculture Commissioner Ar. Sukumar, Gannavaram MLA M. Venkateswara Rao, elected representatives and staff of the ANGRAU.



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