Dr M Ramasami ,MD
Production and marketing of agri-biotechnology products
273, Kamarajanar Road, Attur, Salem - 636102, Tamil Nadu
Rasi Seeds has posted sales revenue of Rs 358.78 crore from its biotech products in FY 2009-10 as against
Rs 375.59 crore in FY 2008-09. Other than its hybrids in maize, rice, pearl millet and vegetable crops,
Rasi is well-recognized as the leader in cotton hybrids. The company has made tremendous impact in cotton
seeds market soon after the introduction of its transgenic Bt cotton hybrid seeds adopting both Bollgard
I and Bollgard II technologies. Currently, 32 Bt cotton hybrids of Rasi are being grown in nine Indian
The company was established with an aim to serve the farmers by developing high quality seeds. Its
research products cover over 20 million acres in different agro-climatic regions in India in the past
two decades. The company has its R&D facilities at Attur, a rural area in Tamil Nadu. The facility
includes 175-acre research farm for crops breeding, 5,500 sq.m transgenic greenhouse and a state-of-the-art
seed processing facility.
A modern high throughput biotech facility was created for research work on molecular breeding, transgenic
crop production, crop viral diagnostics and analytical lab functions. The new R&D facilities have
laboratories for crop breeding research, germplasm conservation, insect bioassay laboratory, and library,
documentation and other facilities that cover an area of 40,000 sq.ft.
The company has plans to operate its vegetable seed business under 'HyVeg' brand with Dr Arvind Kapur
as the CEO, supported by a team of experienced vegetable seeds professionals. Vegetable division has a
vision to contribute significantly in vegetable seed sector in India and Asia.
The company established three new R&D locations and breeding stations for vegetable research in Gurgaon,
Bangalore and Kullu. Testing centers for multi-location trials are in place in different agro-climatic
zones to evaluate hybrids for suitability.
Rasi has established the seed conditioning facilities equipped with processing machinery and equipments.
The company's biotech research areas in cotton and different crops include germplasm characterization
through DNA-based markers; DNA fingerprinting of proprietary lines; marker-assisted selection in cotton,
rice and tomato; bt gene expression and quantification in cotton; and development of molecular markers for
genetic purity in seeds.
The company's genetic transformation laboratory conducts research on development of transgenic crops by
transferring Bt genes in rice, brinjal, and bhindi (okra) to resist against borer pests. Further, attempts
are also made to incorporate viral resistance genes in bhindi to protect against bhindi yellow vein mosaic
disease, in cassava to protect against cassava mosaic disease, and in cotton to protect against cotton leaf
Studies to diagnose viral diseases such as cotton leaf curl virus, cassava mosaic virus and bhendi
yellow vein mosaic virus are also undertaken through PCR-based assays.