• 14 June 2010
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Equipping farmers with technology

Monsanto has delivered high-yielding seeds and biotech traits in corn, cotton, vegetables and agricultural herbicide products


Amithabh Jaipuria (MD)

Production and sales of herbicides, pesticides and hybrid seeds

Startup Year:

Ahura Center, 5th Floor, 96, Mahakali Caves Road, Andheri (East), Mumbai-400093, Maharashtra


+91-22-2690 2121

Monsanto India clocked an annual sales revenue of Rs 255 crore in FY 2009-10 as against Rs 345 crore in FY 2008-09. The products and solutions provided by the company help farmers to replace manual weeding with cost-effective and efficient weed control mechanisms, reduce production costs and improve quality and yield.

Monsanto has its headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri (US). Monsanto supports farmers through two distinct business segments: seeds and genomics, and agricultural productivity; focusing on seeds and biotech enhancements (traits) in corn, cotton, soybean, canola, sugarcane, wheat and vegetables; as well as in herbicide.

The India team comprises over 800 employees, 80 percent of whom are from rural backgrounds, making over 10 lakh direct farmer contacts annually. The company has seven seed research breeding stations; three seed processing facilities; one quality assurance laboratory; and one chemistry plant in India.

To enhance and accelerate its research initiatives in India the Monsanto Research Centre (MRC) has invested in a new state-of-the-art research facility in Bangalore. The MRC has a modern greenhouse along with a 4,200 sq.ft. net house. It was set up in March 1998 to conduct research in agricultural biotechnology. More than 50 scientists supported by consultants, software programers and administrators work at these facilities.

In 1998, Monsanto joined hands with Mahyco to form Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India) Limited (MMB), which is a 50:50 joint venture.

MMB, is not a listed company and was created to bring the benefits of Bollgard cotton technology to farmers in India. In 2002, Bollgard cotton was the first biotech crop to be approved for commercialization in India by the India regulatory body, Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC).

The MMB has sub-licensed the Bollgard technology to 23 Indian seed companies, all of whom are working to introduce the Monsanto gene into their own germplasm. With its continuous success, in 2006, GEAC approved the upgraded variant, Bollgard II, for commercialization.

Bollgard is now sold in nine states in India and farmers currently have a choice of over 55 hybrids of Bollgard and Bollgard II.

Monsanto has also launched the project SHARE (Sustainable Harvest - Agriculture, Resources, Environment), a sustainable yield initiative with Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals (ISAP) to improve the socio-economic conditions of 10,000 small-marginal corn and cotton farmers in 1,100 villages in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan within four years by increasing crop productivity through quality inputs, education, market linkages, and community initiatives.

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