Agri Business

Kaveri Seeds to shift to GMS tech in cottonseed; will help margins grow

KV Kurmanath Pamulaparthy (Telangana) | Updated on October 14, 2019

Kaveri Seeds’ ₹20-crore biotech R&D facility at Pamulaparthy in Siddhipet district of Telangana

Opens Rs 20-crore biotech R&D Laboratory; to work on solutions to biotic stresses

Kaveri Seeds, a BSE-listed seed producer, has successfully tested and piloted Genetic Male Sterility (GMS) technology, which automates the process of emasculation (removal of pollens to prevent self-pollination) completely. This would help the company save ₹25-30 on each packet of 450 gm (costs about ₹730) cottonseed, which is likely to result in an increase of 2-3 per cent in net margins, as it reduces the cost of labour by at least 10 per cent.

The firm sees an increase in net margins by 2-3 per cent on a packet.

“We are targeting to produce at least 25 per cent of the cottonseed with this technology next kharif season. Gradually, we will increase its production,” Mithun Chand, Executive Director of Kaveri Seeds, said. Of the 50,000 tonnes of seed that the company produces every year, cottonseed contributes about 4,500 tonnes. The firm has a share of 18 per cent in the ₹4,000-crore cottonseed market in the country. The firm is the No. 2 cottonseed player after Rasi Seeds.

“A large chunk of the cost of hybrid seed production in cotton is spent on emasculation as this process is more labor intensive. With application of the GMS technology this cost can be eliminated completely. This technology not only reduces the cost of seed production, but also ensures pure quality seeds,” he said.

He was talking to reporters after inaugurating the ₹20-crore research and development centre at its facility at Pamulaparthy, 50 km from Hyderabad.

“Identifying the GMS female plant is a difficult task in field conditions as farmers have to wait till the flowering stage. To overcome this problem, we have developed molecular markers to identify the GMS female lines at the seedling stage itself,” he said.

R&D laboratory

The Centre for Applied Genomics and Seed Technology will facilitate 'smart breeding' to develop quality hybrids for all crops, GV Bhaskar Rao, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Kaveri Seeds, said. “We spent on ₹20 crore on setting up the facility with 150 scientists. We would like to hire 40-50 more in the next 2-3 years,” he said.

The mandate of the lab would include research and development of hybrids in disease and drought resistant hybrids in rice, maize and paddy. .

Kaveri has a network of one lakh seed producing farmers, covering 65,000 farmers in 12 agro-climatic zones of the country.

The company registered a total income of ₹660 crore in the first quarter ended June 30, 2019, as against ₹599 crore in the same quarter last year. For the full year 2018-19, it posted revenues of ₹822 crore.

Published on October 14, 2019

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