Nine agri biotech companies together have formed a new association termed ‘Alliance for Agri Innovation’, a body which will endorse adoption of global advances in agri-technology, seeds and plant breeding in India. Ram Kaundinya, advisor to the Alliance said, it will work for better investments in the sector, create public awareness and also work with government and concerned authorities for a more supportive policy environment. Stating that many other companies were also expected to join the Alliance, Kaundinya said the challenges faced by agri biotech firms pertained to the regulatory procedure, intellectual property protection as well as price control.
The association includes Bayer Bioscience, DuPont Pioneer, Dow Agro Sciences, Mahyco, Metahelix, Rasi Seeds, Shriram Bioseeds, Monsanto and Syngenta.
While interacting with media, executive director of the Alliance, Shivendra Bajaj along with Kaundinya said only Bt cotton is permitted in India. And the process and time taken for allowing other such crops had resulted in many of the member companies of the Alliance restraining research operations in the area and as a result, laying off people.
Kaundinya mentioned that the Alliance’s stand is that consent for other crops should be approved after proper evaluation. Government’s decision to fix the price of Bt cotton is also troublesome for the firms as it can set a pattern for any future GM product as well. Kaundinya said that prices must be decided by the market.