Concerns of the seed industry have not been addressed in the Budget but it has many other positive announcements for agriculture in general, Federation of Seed Industry of India (FSII) Director General Ram Kaundinya said on Thursday. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had on Wednesday presented the Budget for 2023-24 fiscal in Parliament.
"We are disappointed that there has been no announcement of support to enhance research in seeds and technology," Kaundinya said in a statement. FSII had made a representation for restoration of the 200 per cent income tax deduction of the research expenditure of seed industry. Kaundinya also said research investments by the private industry need to be stepped up in order to face the challenges of climate change, natural resource depletion, newly emerging pests and diseases and stagnant yields.
"We were expecting some incentivization of such investments which did not happen," he added. Kaundinya also said the project on extra long staple (ELS) cotton is a step in the right direction. "We believe that a large level of research investment is needed as a part of this project in which the private sector and ICAR can work together and develop high yielding hybrids with ELS and other fibre characteristics," he said. Germplasm plays a key role in this and both the sectors should come forward to share germplasm in this project. Farmers will grow more of ELS cotton if they find it high yielding and profitable, he added.