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Indian hybrid seed market to record 10% growth, says Bayerqrcode

Dec. 25, 2012

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Dec. 25, 2012
With rising incomes, huge population, changing food habits and untapped export potential, India is the growth engine for Asia and the total value of Indian market for two critical agricultural inputs – seeds and crop protection products – will double by 2020 from the present €2.1 billion ($2.7 billion), according to Joerg Rehbein, Head of Indian Sub-continent, Bayer CropScience.

A sub-group of Bayer AG, Bayer CropScience, one of world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seed, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control, registered annual sales of €7.3 billion ($9.5 billion) in 2011.

In an interview with Business Line at the Vegetable Future Forum held in Monheim, Rehbein said his focus was on advancing the well-diversified portfolio of crops including fruits and vegetables, oilseeds (soyabean and rapeseed/mustard) as well as hybrid rice. In cotton, Bayer is a leader in crop protection.

Indian prospects

Sounding upbeat about prospects in India, he said that the market for hybrid seed, already growing at a fast clip, is set to record 10 per cent growth a year and crop protection will grow at about 7 per cent a year. Asserting, “We believe in collaborations and partnerships”, Rehbein said his company has entered into collaborative work with ‘value chain partners’ such as tractor companies that help mechanisation and suppliers of water management systems such as drip irrigation. The company has also entered into over thirty ‘food chain partnerships’ with firms that operate long the food supply chain like food processors, food traders and retailers.

Pesticide residues

A serious issue with the quality of fruits and vegetables grown in India is the unacceptable level of pesticide residue. Going totally organic may not be feasible in the short-term or even medium-term. Biological control or management of pests may help.

Queried about introduction of biologics in India, Marcus Meadows Smith, Head of Bayer Biologics, responsible for strategy and business management, told that the company has applied for a license to import samples for testing in India on fruit and vegetable crops.

"The process of registration of the popular brand Serenade has been set in motion. It will be manufactured in Mexico and exported to India initially,” he remarked.

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