NRGene, an Israeli genomics artificial intelligence company that provides solutions to leading breeding companies, has tied up with Foragen Seeds, a Hyderabad-based seed genetics start-up, to transfer technology to produce better varieties of maize, rice and chili-pepper.

“Under the agreement, we get licence to their germplasm. NRGene has selected as its Indian partner to advance the field breeding programme of seed development and product commercialisation,” Prabhakar Babu Gunturu, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Foragen Seeds, said.

AI in genomics

NRGene has deployed genomics artificial intelligence to map complex traits, segregating in the actual breeding population, and developing DNA markers for those traits.

“The germplasms and breeding materials will significantly help in developing a robust commercial product pipeline suited to the various climate zones in India and other tropical and sub-tropical countries,” he said.

As it gets access to the transfer of technology from NRGene, Foragen Seeds, with a turnover of ₹83 crore from forage business, is planning to expand the basket of offerings in the fodder seed market. This will increase its addressable market to ₹ 2,000 crore from the present size of ₹1,500 crore.

He said there was a huge potential in the dairy sector as there was a shortage for fodder. “There is a deficit of 30-65 per cent in green fodder needs and 12-25 per cent in dry fodder requirements in different parts of the country. As the forage crops area is not increasing, we need to find ways to increase yields,” he said.