Monsanto has announced a plan to deter the unauthorized planting of Bollgard cotton in Brazil. Working with cotton gins, Monsanto will collect an indemnity for cotton that tests positive for the Bollgard insect-resistant cotton trait, beginning with the 2006 cotton harvest.
ABRAPA, the Brazilian cotton growers’ association, has agreed to support Monsanto’s indemnity collection system.
The purpose of the indemnity collection is to protect Monsanto’s intellectual property and encourage Brazilian cotton farmers to purchase certified Bollgard cottonseed.
Brazil approved Bollgard technology in 2005, but authorized Bollgard seed was not available for sale to Brazilian cotton farmers before planting. Some Brazilian cotton farmers planted unauthorized Bollgard cottonseed during the current growing season.
Beginning next season, Brazilian cotton farmers will pay a technology fee when they buy certified Bollgard cottonseed and then can gin Bollgard cotton without paying the indemnity.
The indemnity for farmers who plant unauthorized Bollgard cottonseed will be higher than the technology fee. Payment of the indemnity is only a deterrent and does not license farmers to use Bollgard technology in the future.