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Thursday, May 06, 2004

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Prathista Ind set to market bio-fertilisers, bio-pesticides soon

C.R. Sukumar

Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, Director General, CSIR and Secretary, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, at the Pratistha Industries plant in Nalgonda district, Andhra Pradesh. — A. Roy Chowdhury

Choutuppal (Nalgonda) , May 5

PRATHISTA Industries Ltd (PIL), the Hyderabad-based company in technology partnership with the Regional Research Laboratories (RRL), Jammu proposes to launch bio-fertilisers and bio-pesticides on May 11, the national Technology Day.

Addressing a gathering at the company's manufacturing facility here on Wednesday, the PIL Managing Director, Mr K.V.S.S. Sai Ram, said the company has installed 1500 tonnes per annum fermentation facilities. The downstream facilities are currently being implemented in phased manner in tune with the technology and company's planning.

The company's production facility would be the largest for all varieties of gluconates through fermentation technology in the entire Asian region. It has an in-house research and development (R&D) centre recognised by the Government. PIL spends nearly one-third of its profits on R&D.

The World Bank recently funded the R&D centre under its SPREAD programme through ICICI Bank to set up a modern fermentation pilot scale/plant facilities with the project capital outlay of around Rs 5 crore. The company is yet to receive the financial sanction from the Government's Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) for this project, Mr Sai Ram said.

Prathista Industries, which has established its organic growth promoter product used for all crops under the brand `Suryamin', has recently launched it in granules form to reduce the consumption of synthetic nitrogenous fertilisers. It is currently being exclusively marketed by DCM Group company - Shriram Fertilisers and Chemicals - in the north. The product is also being marketed by Mahindra & Mahindra group company - Mahindra Shubhlabh Services Ltd - in different parts of the country.

Inaugurating the plant facilities, the Director General, Council of Scientific Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr R.A. Mashelkar, stressed on the right public-private partnership for creating wealth, while citing the success story of Prathista Industries.

Stating that the country has huge opportunities in the area of biotechnology, he advised young entrepreneurs to exploit the potential with the help of sound ambitions. In this connection, he cited the success stories of the Hyderabad-based Shantha Biotechnics and the Bangalore-based Biocon.

The Director of RRL, Jammu, Dr G.N. Qazi, said the gluconate salts technology initially developed by the RRL had few problems in the area of downstream processing. However, they were effectively addressed before transferring the technology in favour of Prathista Industries. According to him, the technology enables manufacture of around 70 varieties of products with commonality among the product range.

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