CHENNAI: In a major relief to Indian cultivators, the Central government has slashed the prices of Bt cotton seeds to support distressed farmers struggling with an infestation which is affecting crops.
The move comes just a day after thousands of protesting farmers completed a six-day march to reach Mumbai demanding loan waivers and compensation for crop damage.
The new price of Bt cotton seeds is Rs 740 per 450 gm packet as opposed to Rs 800 earlier.
India has also cut the royalties that local seed companies pay to US agrochemical giant Monsanto, for the second time in two years. The American corporation controls some 90 per cent of the market in India.
According to a government order released on Tuesday, the country’s agriculture ministry has decided to reduce royalties by 20.4 per cent. Earlier, in 2016, the company’s royalties were cut by more than 70 per cent.