Monsanto’s Indian subsidiary expects to submit final trial results for its genetically modified (GM) corn to lawmakers within a year for the government to then decide on a commercial launch, the company’s country head said on Friday.
India does not currently allow the growing of GM food crops but the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, keen to improve farms’ productivity, has encouraged open field trials after a five-year de facto ban.
“We are close to the final stage in corn,” Shilpa Divekar Nirula, chief executive of Monsanto India, told Reuters.
“We finished the trial in last kharif (June-October) in Maharashtra state; that is harvested and completed.”
Nirula said the company will take up to a year to collate and submit the data after finishing trials that began about six years ago.
The resulting corn will be insect- and herbicide-tolerant, helping raise yields by 15-20 percent, she said.