Nation

Andhra Buys Rs 600 Crore worth of US Seed Development Technology

October 22, 2017 03:11 AM
Chief Minister Chander Babu Naidu at Iowa University ,USA

Genetic Modification Technology is part of the transfer

Jatinder Singh Bedi 

CHICAGO – Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has purchased Rupees 600 Crores worth of seed research technology from United States to set up a Mega Seed Park in its Kurnoor District that will develop drought-resistant high-yield seeds conducive to local environment there. First installment of Rupees 124 Crores has been paid.

To begin with paddy, cotton, groundnut, and maize will be the prime focus of research and development. Later 16 more crops will be added to the research list. The agreement also includes transfer of seed genetics as per suitability of the land, as well as techniques at genetic modifications. It needs a mention that currently India does not allow induction of Genetically Modified Crops. Brinjal and Cotton have been experimental exceptions in the past though.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chander Babu Naidu, inked the agreement with America’s Iowa State University during his just concluded October 18 visit. He was accompanied by a high level agricultural delegation comprising Andhra Pradesh’s Agriculture Minister Somireddy Chandra Mohan Reddy, Director Agriculture Hari Jawaharlal, Vice Chancellor of ANGR Agriculture University Damodar Naidu. India’s Chicago-based Consul General Ms Neeta Bhushan was also present.

                   Mega Seed Park is being set up on “mixed model.” The Andhra government, the farmers, and the seed producing companies from private sector will participate in its development. The Mega Seed Park Foundation has laid the foundation stone at Tangadancha in Kunool distirct. Andhra government has notified 634 acres of land here in Tangadancha exclusively for this Park and handed over to the Mega Seed Foundation for its development.

                  Of the agreed Rupees 600 Crores, the first installment of Rupees 124 Crores has been paid to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Under the agreement the State of Iowa through Iowa University’s Seed Science Center will facilitate setting up of the Mega Seed Park, training to the farmers, development of genetically modified seeds, and demonstrations with regards to Seed Supply.

                  The Park will undertake research and scientific development with respect to the seed quality. The state based Farmer Producing Organizations (FPOs) will undertake the marketing of the production at the Park. FPOs are cooperative society-like business entities of producing farmers that access and manage the available agricultural business opportunities.

Iowa University will also impart training to Andhra’s farmers. A team of agriculture scientists from Iowa University is slated to visit Andhra Pradesh in November 2017. The initial focus will be on research and development. Later on, the project will be further strengthened through collaboration with the farmers as well as the seed companies.

To begin with paddy, cotton, groundnut, and maize will be the prime focus of research and development. Later 16 more crops will be added to the research list. The agreement also includes transfer of seed genetics as per suitability of the land, as well as techniques at genetic modifications. It needs a mention that currently India does not allow induction of Genetically Modified Crops. Brinjal and Cotton have been experimental exceptions in the past though.

This Mega Seed Park will be the first one ever to be set up in India. As of now, seed research and development has been the domain of the regional Agriculture Universities only. Once fully functional, the Park’s seed produce would cater to the local demand, sold nationwide, and exported as well. Currently India imports seeds from Australia, USA, China, and European countries like Italy, Holland, Germany etc.

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Establishment of the Mega Seed Park is the Chander Babu Naidu’s second step towards strengthening of the Agriculture sector in Andhra Pradesh. It has already completed the first step that involved making the health card of the soil and providing micro nutrients where

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