At least five large seed companies, including Monsanto, Mahyco and BASF, have started field trials of genetically-modified (GM) crops in Maharashtra, which granted permission earlier this year. The companies are focussing on crops such as rice, corn, chickpea and cotton.
Mahyco, for instance, has started carrying out trials for GM rice in the Konkan region of coastal Maharashtra. The company eventually wants to develop a rice variety which will be tolerant to salinity in the environment. Others such as Monsanto, BASF, Sungro Seeds and a large seed company based out of Andhra Pradesh have either started conducting field trials or are in the process of carrying out the same.