By admin       2019-03-29

March 29, 2019 - Mahabeej had acquired a sub-licence in 2014 but this would be the first time the company is entering the commercial cotton seed market. The Maharashtra State Seed Corporation Limited — which retails its products under the Mahabeej brand — plans to enter the market of BT cotton seeds. Anil Bhandari, managing director of Mahabeej, said the company has plans to place 50,000 packets of these seeds during this season. At least 98 per cent of cotton seeds used in Maharashtra are genetically modified BT cotton. Through its joint venture with agri-biotechnology major Monsanto, Mahayco is the distributor of sublicences for production of BT cotton. Mahabeej had acquired a sub-licence in 2014 but this would be the first time the company is entering the commercial cotton seed market. Most of the seed is being produced in the corporation’s Gujarat facility. According to government order, the packets will be priced at Rs 750 per piece. Bhandari said the corporation has plans to scale up their BT cotton seed business to sell 3.5 lakh packets for the 2020-21 season. “We will scale up our operation accordingly,” he said. The seeds would be made available through the more than 1,300 private, cooperative and other outlets of the corporation. The corporation is also working on production of refugee seeds, which are necessary to control the rampant spread of bollworm infestation in cotton. Besides cotton, the corporation is also focusing on the production of hybrid seeds, especially in vegetables. Okra, cauliflower, ridge gourd and bottle gourd are some of the vegetables the corporation is working on for introduction of hybrid seeds. For the upcoming kharif season, Mahabeej will make available 3 lakh quintals of soyabean seed and at least 60-70,000 quintals of paddy. The last season had been exceptionally good for the corporation in terms of seed sales. “At least 2.3 lakh quintals of chana seed was sold as most farmers had exhausted their own seed given the low price of the commodity last year. This has increased the demand of fresh seed of chana,” he added. Another field the corporation is looking to strengthen in is production of tissue culture seedlings for banana crop. The company aims to produce 1 lakh such seedlings for the current season.

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