Buenos Aires, October 22nd. Yesterday, October 21st, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries approved the transgenic trait for cotton, named SYN IR102-7, for the planting and commercialization in the country.

Tha trait confers to the crop with resistance to insects (lepidopters) and its commercial name is VIPCOT (Viptera Cotton) and it’s property of Syngenta. Order 117/2019 approving the event is the third since the beginning of the year releasing GMO technologies for the cotton crop. In February it was authorized the event BCS GH811-4 that confers to the crop resistance against herbicides glyphosate and HPPD inhibitors, and later, in August, the Ministry authorized a stack with insect and herbicides resistance, including the VIPCOT trait.

“We celebrate that the Ministry approves new technologies for the cotton crop”, CEO of cotton breeding company Gensus, Pablo Vaquero, told to eFarmNewsAr.com. “But we understand that this technology known as Viptera has been licensed by Syngenta to BASF, to be stacked with other traits. We also know that BASF and Bayer are reluctant to commercialize these technologies in the current weak IPRs framework, that doesn’t guarantee the recovery of the innovation”, Vaquero added.

But the CEO recognized that the National Seed Institute (INASE) is doing a great job to control the illegal seed market. “The INASE is working hard to stop the use of traits non-authorized in the country. They are controlling the factories where cotton is processed and cutting the circuit of illegal seed. This work is already reflecting in the seed demand by the growers. We are tripling sales, thanks to this job, and meeting the strong demand”, he explained.

From eFarmNewsAr.com, we wanted to know how much seed bags Gensus are selling this campaign. “We are the unique cotton breeding company in Argentina and we are supplying 120,000  bags this season, to cover 250/300,000 hectares. As you can understand, the previous sales around 40,000 bags were too low for the domestic market. This is the reason why large seed companies are reluctant to release their technologies in the country”, Vaquero concluded.

VIPCOT trait could be a key tool to control pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella), an insect who developed resistance to other Bt proteins. Another source of eFarmNewsAr.com said that since now, because the trait was approved alone, Syngenta could offer its technology to other companies to stack this event in a different way to the BASF one. “It could be so useful for the farmers to access this technology”, the source explained.