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INDIA NEEDS A NATIONAL INTEREST BASED SEED BILL – NSAI NEW DELHI: The National Seed Association of India (NSAI) on Wednesday sent additional comments on the Seed Bill 2019 through three letters to the DG ICAR Dr Trilochan Mohaparta, DDG Cotton Seeds and Horticulture Dr AK Singh and ADG Seed ICAR Dr DK Yadava. The letters sought clarity on various definitions within the act such as “transgenic variety”, “agriculture”, “farmer” etc and also suggested additional definitions for the purpose of operational clarity for the industry. NSAI proposed to include “transgene”, “transgenic event” along with others definitions within the act. These additions...

Last Updated: Wednesday, 4th December, 2019 06:16 PM Visits 603

India must reform its seed sector before RCEP takes effect

With a confirmed Brexit, the days of liberal globalisation are numbered. Open borders, FTAs and multilateral agreements find no takers in the White House either. Leaders Boris Johnson and Donald Trump have heralded a clear and blunt message of tariffs, conservative economics and national interest. It appears the time of Adam Smith has ended, as the financial powers of the world are looking towards protectionism and focussing inwards to repair their economies. Amidst such developments are the ongoing RCEP negotiations for what will potentially be the world’s biggest free trade agreement. We are opening the doors that guard our farmers’...

Last Updated: Wednesday, 23rd October, 2019 04:58 PM Visits 78

Rescue biodiversity first

    India has a crucial decision to make. Should it conserve its biodiversity and germplasm for future generations or surrender its heritage to corporations and foreign treaties? Come November, India is about to enter key negotiations on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) at its eighth general body meeting in Rome. But what is at stake? All of India’s future as these talks may impact the country’s biodiversity and germplasm relating to food and agriculture. In the delegates’ own words, “The ITPGRFA, adopted in 2001, is a global response to promote the conservation of plant genetic...

Last Updated: Thursday, 17th October, 2019 11:32 PM Visits 66

Old is still gold

Old is still gold The Govt’s decision to abruptly remove 10-year-old seed varieties from the market may do more harm than good. It must phase them out gradually and earn farmers’ trust The Government is about to make a terrible mistake with its seed policy. The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare has decided to withdraw certified/notified varieties of seeds that are older than 10 years from the market. The Government system, backed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), cancelled the indent of seed producers, who have requested for popular varieties  between 10-15 years old. Several small and medium seed companies...

Last Updated: Monday, 26th August, 2019 10:27 AM Visits 313

NSAI views on Bt protein expression

NSAI views on Bt protein expression   NSAI expressed that undue importance is being given for protein expression in the hybrid.  The protein expression varies from part to part and is different in leaf, seed, square and boll. The expression also varies from season to season and stage of the crop growth.  However, the most important aspect is presence of the protein above the LD50/LC50 value for the targeted four bollworm species.  The LD50/LC50 value is different for each species of four bollworms.  The highest LD50 value needs to be considered as the minimum expression required in a Bt cotton hybrid/variety.  Accordingly...

Last Updated: Wednesday, 21st August, 2019 11:38 AM Visits 786

Time to seed the world

Time to SEED the WORLD India is a biodiversity-rich country. We are the centre of origin for many crops, fruits and vegetables. Along with a rich bio-heritage, we have been blessed with all types of climate and soil. Our nation’s hard-working farmers, seed savers and plant breeders, along with mother nature, have co-evolved thousands of varieties to provide us with nutrition and also prepared us for drought, floods and climate change. In recent times, public institutions, along with the Indian private sector, have aggressively pursued this goal, too. Unlike other sectors, they have not only taken from mother nature but have also...

Last Updated: Friday, 2nd August, 2019 12:52 PM Visits 643

Save Akola farmers

India has to be very careful before its mega cotton seed sector crumbles because of pro-GM vigilantism of a few bad apples. All stakeholders must come together A very serious legal and environmental hazard is looming large over India. It is the illegal and hazardous planting of Herbicide Tolerance (HT) Bt Cotton in the fields of Akola, Maharashtra. An alarmed Central Government, the  Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) and the State Government issued several notifications and inquiries. Meanwhile, a well-funded Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has been using the farmers as scapegoat to push an unapproved Genetically Modified (GM) variety of cotton on...

Last Updated: Saturday, 29th June, 2019 04:32 PM Visits 280

Pro-GM seed movement spreads to 11 districts in Maharashtra

"It is appalling that illegality and irreversible toxic contamination is being masked as a satyagraha. India's laws are above GM vigilantism. We support the government and hope that the illegal breeders/traders of HT cotton are punished and a strict investigation should be ordered into how the HT trait escaped into the environment despite GEAC regulation. The responsibility lies with the seed importer, trait owner and GEAC," said Indra Shekhar Singh, Program Director for Policy & Outreach at NSAI.   Link: TOI ...

Last Updated: Tuesday, 25th June, 2019 03:03 PM Visits 125