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Syngenta to pilot protocol for seedless watermelon, cottonqrcode

Dec. 10, 2013

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Dec. 10, 2013
Syngenta is piloting projects that offer complete solutions for seedless watermelon in Maharashtra,India and is currently developing Proof of Concept for pilots on cotton, grape and potato as well.

The company is also assessing the prospects of bringing the Plene solution for sugarcane, introduced in other sugarcane producing regions of the world, to India.

Since announcing its integrated solutions strategy two years ago that combined its two businesses – seeds and crop protection – the company has been working on developing protocols for a variety of crops. These are aimed at giving farmers a complete end-to-end solution for crops (seeds, agri input and crop protection and their timing) to help them achieve better productivity and higher returns on investment.

In India, Syngenta has just unveiled its MaxVeg solution for cauliflower, hot pepper and tomato in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, MP and Karnataka, and will soon extend this to watermelon in Maharashtra as well.

“The total acreage under the MaxVeg pilot is around 10000 acres. Seedless watermelon is under pilot stage in Maharashtra where we are offering growers on-farm and after-farm solutions by way of novel products linked to buy back at assured price through dedicated vendors,” says Akshaya Kamath, Territory Head, Syngenta South Asia. This will include popularising them among Indian consumers through value chain players like super markets, he adds.

Referring to their Plene technology for sugarcane launched last year in Brazil, Kamath said that some assessment and exploratory visits to the sugarcane growing areas in India had been done. “There are some pre-requisites for introducing it in India and it is very early to estimate the exact time frame when we would be able to bring it here,” he says.

The other crops on Syngenta’s radar in the short term are cotton, grape, potato and pomegranate. The Company has planned a pilot for cotton on 3000 acres of land at Jalgaon. “This is to establish proof of concept,” explains Anand Gudihal, head of marketing for specialty crops.

Pelleted Seeds

Syngenta has also just introduced the first of its pelleted seeds in India. “Pelleted seeds or seedlet technology is in pre-commercial demo stage for three vegetables at the moment. We have planned it in technology in tomato, cauliflower and hot pepper,” says Kamath.

At present the share of seeds in its total business including exports, is around 20%. In future, the main drivers for Syngenta's growth in seed sales will come from expansion in rice, vegetables and other key crops like corn.


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