New Delhi: Buoyed by the success of Bt cotton, India’s farm biotechnology revenue spiked sharply by 30% to $300 million in the latest fiscal, a US government report said.
The export revenue from agriculture biotechnology has also grown by 12% to $13 million during 2007-08 fiscal from $11.6 million in a year-ago period, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said.
“India has emerged as the second largest producer and exporter of cotton in the world, largely due to planting of Bt cotton a major success story in India’s agricultural biotechnology development,” USDA said in the recent report on ‘India Biotechnology Annual 2008´.
As per the report, Bt cotton coverage has surged in the last six years to over 80% of the total cotton area in 2007.
It highlighted that India’s farm biotechnology is the third largest contributor to the total biotech revenue among biotech sectors. The contribution of biopharma is about 67%, bioservices 15%, bioagri 12% and bioindustrial 4%.
Bt cotton is the only biotech crop approved for commercial cultivation in India. So far, the government has approved total five Bt cotton events and 263 hybrid varieties. In addition to cotton, however, there are over 10 transgeneric crops that are in the process of securing regulatory approval for commercial cultivation, the report said.
On marketing of Bt cotton seed, the USDA said, “The legal issues pertaining to the pricing of Bt cotton seed continue to be unresolved, which is likely to be detrimental to technology transfer and foreign direct investment in India’s biotechnology.”