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Kaveri Seeds to adopt GMS technology for hybrid cotton seeds

Nearly a fourth of their hybrid cotton seeds production of Kaveri next year would be through GMS technology and entire hybrid cotton seeds production will shift to GMS technology over next 2-3 years.

ET Bureau|
Oct 15, 2019, 11.18 AM IST
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The second-largest Indian hybrid cotton seeds producer with nearly a fifth of market share now hopes to expedite launch of innovative hybrid seed varieties with the help of modern genomic tools like marker-assisted selection at its modern R&D lab.
HYDERABAD: India's largest listed hybrid seeds firm, Kaveri Seeds (KSL) is looking to adopt genetic male sterility (GMS) technology for hybrid cotton seed production, aimed at reducing the pressure on profit margins with the state governments attempting to regulate hybrid cotton seed prices.

The traditional labour-intensive cotton seed production process currently involves removal of pollens to prevent self- pollination and adopting GMS technology helps identify female lines at the seedling state itself, said executive director C Mithun Chand. "GMS technology helps bring down labour costs by 10-12% and improve profit margins by 200-300 basis points."

"The labour costs involved in emasculation (removal of pollens to prevent self-pollination) account for a major part of the production costs and the cost of production with GMS technology will help bring down the cost of hybrid cotton seeds by Rs 30-50 a pocket, adding to the bottomline," said Mithun.

He said nearly a fourth of their hybrid cotton seeds production next year would be through GMS technology and entire hybrid cotton seeds production will shift to GMS technology over next 2-3 years. He was interacting with the journalists on the sidelines of inaugurating a modern biotechnology research and development (R&D) laboratory involving around Rs 20 crore on Monday.

The second-largest Indian hybrid cotton seeds producer with nearly a fifth of market share now hopes to expedite launch of innovative hybrid seed varieties with the help of modern genomic tools like marker-assisted selection at its modern R&D lab.

Chairman GV Bhaskar Rao said the latest biotechnology R&D facility should help the hybrid seed producer to use biotechnological tools for smart breeding towards futuristic product innovations for high yielding, pest and disease resistant, and climate-smart seeds.
Rao said the modern genomic tools like marker-assisted selection should help the Rs 769 crore company in revenues last fiscal develop new hybrid varieties in 2-3 years, significantly down from 10-15 years in conventional breeding methods.

Kaveri Seeds, which is now into the production of hybrid cotton, maize, rice, sunflower, bajra, cereals, millets and vegetables currently has over 100,000 production growers on 65,000 acres of land spread over 12 agro-climatic zones helping it in seed production. The three-decade-old hybrid seed producer has a 150 tons an hour of seed processing, 5 lakh sft of warehouse and 10,000 tons cold storage facility at its integrated seed production facility at Pamulaparthy near Hyderabad.

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