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Mahyco to introduce hybrid cottonseed to African farmersqrcode

Jul. 15, 2015

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Jul. 15, 2015
Having acquired a controlling stake in Zimbabwe-based Quton Seed Company, India’s agri biotech major, Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Limited (Mahyco) is now looking to introduce hybrid seed varieties of cotton in the African market.
The company will emerge as a major cotton-seed supplier to the region.
Foray into Africa
In November last year, Mahyco had announced acquisition of 60 per cent stake in Quton from Africa’s largest seed supplier, Seed Co Ltd for an undisclosed amount.
“The governments in African nations are proactive about farm bio-technology. We will introduce hybrid variety of cotton there. The development and testing has been under way and by the start of next season in November we will start marketing,” said Usha Barwale Zehr, Chief Technology Officer, Mahyco, here at the R&D facility in Dawalwadi near Jalna.
Hybrid first
“Inspite of being a major cotton growing region, Africa doesn’t have a hybrid variety. So in the first phase, we will introduce hybrid varieties. And after its success we will introduce Bt seeds. But that will require additional regulatory clearances, hence it will take about 2-3 years,” she added. Having its base in Zimbabwe, the company will cater to other African markets including Malavi, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia among others.
“The African region has significant potential on the agri bio-tech front to increase farm productivity by using modern seed technology. This will benefit the local farming community,” she said.
No R&D units
Zehr ruled out a possibility of future investments in setting up R&D facilities for African markets. In Zimbabwe, Mahyco will use the R&D and seed making facilities already established at Quton.
Also, the company will focus on research, development, production, and distribution of cotton seed in these African nations.
The foray into African market is likely to strengthen Mahyco’s positioning in the cotton market. Set up in 1964, Mahyco was the first seed company in the world to successfully commercialised F1 hybrid cotton.
It is currently conducting research, production, processing and marketing of approximately 150 products in 30 crops, which includes cotton, grains, oilseeds and vegetables.



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