Increased level of Field Testing activity of GM Seeds in India.

Since the last two years the seed industry in India is witnessing increased level of activity and enthusiasm over field testing of genetically modified (GM) seeds. Field trials of GM seeds for crops such as cotton, rice, maize, brinjal, mustard and chickpea are underway in some states.

Adoption of GM seeds in India so far has been slow with commercialization of only one GM crop in last 15 years whereas other countries such as the USA, China, Canada and Brazil have commercialised eight, five, four and three GM crops.

India has recorded a CAGR of 4% in area under cultivation of GM crops from CY 2010 to CY 2015 whereas Brazil has recorded CAGR of 10% during the same period.

Adoption of GM seeds, be it for food crops or industrial crops, in India still faces significant resistance, with some of the key concerns being threat to bio-diversity, safety aspects for human consumption, lack of transparent regulatory framework and possibility of concentration of pricing power with large multinational corporations.

Government of India (GoI) is looking to promote commercialisation of the GM technology to meet the rising demand, it also has to protect the farmers who use such seeds, against possible under performance, and the consumers who consume the GM crops against any adverse health effects. It needs to address the raised concerns and also promote more scientific research in the agriculture sector.

Mr. Sachin Sachdeva, Associate Head & AVP – Corporate Ratings, ICRA Limited said For the seed sector to grow at a healthy pace, a transparent and unambiguous regulatory environment for adoption of GM seeds while addressing the fears and concerns raised against the GM crops would be critical.


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