This is to recognise the relevance of genetically-modified (GM) crops, especially since the domestic seed market is pegged at Rs 20,000 crore. Of this, Bt-cotton constitutes 20 per cent, a share distributed among 45 to 50 companies, with 6-7 dominant players.
FSII Director General Ram Kaundinya says out of the 40-odd research-based seed firms that constitute FSII, eight would specifically invest in Bt. These firms have 50 per cent of the market share in India and spend 75 per cent on research.
Investment in seed research, excluding Bt research, is 3-4 pc of revenue, Kaundinya says, pointing to Indian firms such as Metahelix (Tata enterprise), Shriram Bioseed, Raasi Seeds, Mayhco. “Annually, we could have about Rs 500 cr for Bt research, which dropped substantially due to various issues,” he said, emphasising the need for better Centre-state co-ordination to resolve the current imbroglio, when it comes to GM. ED Shivendra Bajaj, AAI, says TN, West Bengal, Kerala and Orissa are states that vehemently oppose GM, whereas Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Haryana have been more supportive.