The Chhattisgarh government on Wednesday banned sale of seeds manufactured by Monsanto company, as a US-based multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation, in the state

Dr R. Hampaiah, heading the Andhra Pradesh Biodiversity Board, a statutory body set up by the Central government under the Biological Diversity Act 2002, is demanding Monsanto India pay royalty for using a bacteria strain that can be traced to the Mahanandi village in Kurnool district.

K V Kurmanath

The Andhra Pradesh Government has fixed the trait value for BG II (Bollgard-II) at Rs 90 and for BG-I (Bollgard-I) at Rs 50.

India made its long-awaited entry into commercial agricultural biotechnology in March 2002 with the approval of three Bt-cotton hybrids for commercial cultivation. In about 6 years, the area under Bt-cotton has increased by more than 210 times to record 6.2 m ha and the number of Bt-farmers by 190 times to reach 3.8 m in 2007.

People may never look at brinjal in the same way again. In the last few months, this innocuous vegetable has garnered much public attention and so did the research and development happening in the field of agriculture. R&D in agriculture which usually misses to impress the media or the people assumed centre stage in the weeks preceding the declaration of Jairam Ramesh on the fate of Bt Brinjal.

The Andhra Pradesh High Court has posted to April 22 the hearings on a petition filed by Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech (MMB) against the Andhra Pradesh Government over fixation of Bt cotton trait value.

MMB has contended that the Government has no role in fixing the trait value and appealed to the court to restrain the State from fixing the trait value.

Government powers

Wants farmers to let cattle graze on Bt cotton fields.

K.V. Kurmanath

A letter from Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech (India) Limited to seed manufacturers, advising them to ask farmers to let the cattle graze on Bt cotton fields, has triggered a row in the ongoing debate on Bt cotton. Ahead of the kharif season sales, the company said the grazing should be allowed at the end of the crop season.

Monsanto is back in the courts on the issue of royalty or trait fees it charges for its genetically modified Bt cotton

K P Prabhakaran Nair

Monsanto devotes an annual budget of $10 million to harassing, intimidating, suing -and in some cases bankrupting -American farmers over alleged improper use of its patented seeds. This will become the norm for India as well

| K P Prabhakaran Nair