Agricultural biotech traits entered India in 2002 in
the form of Bt Cotton. The last seven years have seen
a tremendous benefit being delivered to the Indian cotton
farmer. It is estimated that in 2008 about 20m acres of
Bt cotton was planted in the country. The yields of cotton
have gone up from 320 Kg of kapas per acre to 550 Kg of
kapas per acre in the last seven years essentially because
of the benefits brought by the technology.
However the business environment in the country for
Ag biotech companies currently poses serious challenges
in spite of the tremendous benefits delivered by the technology
so far. The challenges are related to the ability of the
technology providers to charge the right price for their
technology, the ability of companies to have the freedom
to operate in different states of the country, the emerging
regulatory framework for transgenic crops, etc.
On the other hand the world is moving rapidly towards
adopting more biotech traits. The next generation traits
like drought tolerance are slated for launch in the next
few years in the world.
With the present business environment in the country
the technology providers are looking for various initiatives
that can change the situation and make it more favourable
to the development and launch of new biotech traits. They
see the need for implementing a comprehensive dialogue
with different stake holders, particularly the Government,
to bring about a change in the scenario.
The group has decided to come together in this background
and with the intention of creating a facilitating environment
to the development and introduction of superior biotech
traits in Indian agriculture.