takes the next step forward
Rasi has done extensive
research for crop improvement by incorporating latest technology in
breeding techniques and is aiming for hybrids with early yield, high
quality and drought tolerance.
Tamil Nadu-based Rasi Seeds has posted sales of Rs 375.59 crore from
its biotech products for the year 2008-09 as against Rs 293.26 in the
year 2007-08. The company has sold 55.21 lakh packets of Bt cotton in
2008-09 as against 50.5 lakh packets of Bt cotton in 2007-08 and has
expanded the area under Bt cotton cultivation to 40 lakh acre.
Rasi Seeds was envisioned by M Ramasami, and was initiated in the year
1973 in Attur near Salem. Since its inception, Rasi Seeds has undergone
rapid development from a seed production and supply venture to a
commendable position in research and development.
Rasi Seeds aims to create genetic variability in cotton seeds to suit
various agro-climatic zones by producing cotton hybrids of various
staple length and abiotic stress tolerance.The company has a well
maintained research farm of 140 acres, which includes facilities like
greenhouse, separate ginning facility for germplasm and other breeding
lines, state-of-the-art fiber testing lab, well-equipped seed testing
laboratory and separate dehumidified refrigerated facility for
germplasm and breeding lines. The company also has modern biotech
facility for testing the presence of Bt gene.
Rasi Seeds has recently built a new state-of-the-art biotechnology
facility and crop breeding facility at Attur, near Salem in Tamil Nadu
with an investment of about Rs 10 crore. The new R&D facility
has laboratories for biotech research, crops research, germplasm
conservation, insect bioassay laboratory, library and documentation,
and other facilities in an area of 40,000 sq. ft. The company
has created excellent and modern facilities for undertaking crop
biotech research with dedicated and proficient scientific staff. A new
transgenic greenhouse following the biosafety guidelines of the
Department of Biotechnology has also been created. The R&D
center also has a plant molecular biology laboratory for carrying out
crop biotechnology activities, a tissue culture facility to undertake
genetic transformation of desirable genes in crops is fully functional.
Dr M Ramasami, managing director, Rasi Seeds said, “The
future thrust of our center would be on marker-assisted selection using
DNA markers for several important traits in crops such as rice, wheat,
cotton and vegetables. This will involve integration of crop breeding
and biotechnology including bioinformatics. We will also intensify our
transgenic research in different field crops and vegetables for
agronomically important traits besides quality traits.”
Some of the ongoing projects of the company include sourcing and
evaluation of breeding germplasm lines with earliness, erect leaves,
high per se and orange flint and orange yellow semi dent grain colours.