Updated on 11 September 2012
Mr N P Hirani, chairman, Maharshtra State Cotton Growers Marketing Federation too echoed a similar sentiment when he said, "There are a number of reasons why the profits from Bt cotton have gone down in some cases, such as poor rainfall and such. However no one can deny the product enhancement in cotton that has been possible today only because of Bt cotton."
Maharashtra grows more than a third of the country's total cotton. Mahyco sold an estimated 35 lakh seed packets in India last year. On the issue of whether this ban might affect the available seeds in the market, Dangat said, "There is no shortage of Bt cotton seeds in the market today. There are many companies who are fully equipped to provide the necessary amount of packets. Land under Bt cotton cultivation of Bt cotton is approximately 40 lakh hectares in Maharashtra. Last year, even though more than 2 crore packets were available, farmers brought approximately 1.25 crore packets only. Hence we had a surplus amount of seed packets with us."
Industry insiders however have pointed out the undeniable fact that the timing of this ruling is slightly questionable. The allegations against Mahyco have been reported in different media since almost the start of the kharif season this year, but action was only taken in August, towards the end of kharif season. Though this action can be termed as better late than never if the allegations are proven true, it remains to be seen if this action will have any impact on Mahyco's revenues for the next kharif season.