Special Correspondent

KURNOOL: Monsanto (India) denied the charge that it was planning to enhance the price of Bt. Cotton Seed in Andhra Pradesh.

In reference to the charges made by Rythu Sangham leader K. Ramakrishna over the price issue, Christopher Samuel, Director, Public Affairs of Monsanto (India) stated that neither Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech (MMB) nor Monsanto were involved in the price enhancement issue.

Mr. Samuel clarified that National Seeds Association of India (NSAI) has represented to the AP Government for the enhancement of the price of cotton seed to offset the increasing cost of seed production. The MMB was only an input provider to seed companies and had licensed two insect protection Bt. Cotton technologies as input to them.

However, Mr. Samuel contended that the price enhancement would encourage companies to invest more in R&D for developing high- yielding varieties and technologies.

He said the seed with Bt technology created an additional value of Rs. 40,000 crore per annum for farmers and other stake holders in the country. In 2008, farmers earned Rs.18,000 crore additional income from Bt. Cotton yields and saved Rs. 2,000 crore on less usage of pesticides.