• 15 June 2005
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7. Rasi Seeds

Managing Director: M. Ramasami

New BioAgri Star

Rasi seeds, has notched up sales of Rs 86.86 crore in its maiden year

T he second entrant to the most-watched Indian Bt cotton market, Rasi Seeds has set the market on fire. In the 2004-05 cropping season, Rasi Seeds has notched up sales of Rs 86.86 crore. And now it is looking at tripling its sales in 2005-06.

With a work force of 408 (including 62 researchers, 109 sales and marketing and 157 manufacturing personnel) Rasi Seeds, had sales of Rs 86.86 crore in 2004-05. With expected rise in the sale of Bt cotton hybrids in 2005-06 Rasi Seeds is anticipating its sales to reach Rs 250 crore during 2005-06. This agri-focused company with commitment to work for the Indian farmers has been investing to tune of Rs 30 lakh in R&D and infrastructures in 2005-06 against last year's investments of Rs 7 lakh. In addition to this it has also increased its head count in 2004-05.

Rasi Seeds has released its first transgenic RCH 2 Bt cotton hybrid for commercial cultivation for central and south zones and became the second company to release transgenic Bt cotton in India after Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech (India) Ltd in 2004. This year its Bt cotton hybrids RCH 134 and RCH 317 (north zone), RCH 118 Bt, RCH 138 Bt and RCH 144 Bt (central zone) and RCH 20 Bt and RCH 368 Bt (south zone) have received the regulator's approval for commercial cultivation.

Evolved from a small company, Rasi Hybrid Seeds that was envisioned and initiated by M Ramasami in 1973 at Attur in Tamil Nadu, it has made rapid advances from seed production and supply to a commendable position in R&D as Rasi Seeds with the contribution of R Krishnamurthy, a renowned cotton breeder of India. This flagship company has slowly, yet steadily emerged as one of the largest agribusiness groups in India. Its research products covered 7.5 million acres in the past decade.

Rasi Seeds has been recognized as the leader in cotton hybrids, besides other crop hybrids in maize, pearl millet and vegetables. When the company launched its first set of research cotton hybrids namely RCH 1 and RCH 2 in 1992, it received good response from farmers' community. RCH 2 cotton hybrid is one among the very few proprietary research hybrids that has been notified by the Government of India. It has developed insect-protected cotton hybrids with the Bt gene under license from Monsanto.

It has well-maintained research farm of 140 acres, green houses, a state-of-the-art seed processing plant and a high volume (HVI) fibre-testing laboratory. It has developed a modern high throughput biotech facility for molecular biology and transgenic crop production
and also an insect-rearing and bioassay facility for assisting biotechnological research. In collaboration with the International Crops
Research Institute of Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Rasi Seeds is engaged in the development of pearl millet hybrids with high yield, downy mildew resistance and good grain quality, and fodder to suit the major pearl millet growing regions in the country.

Rasi Seeds is looking at intensifying its biotech research to cater to the need of the farmers by adopting novel and viable technologies. These include transgenic crops production with desirable agronomic traits such as virus resistance, pest resistance, tolerance to drought and others in different crops including cotton. Rasi will adopt efficient tools such as DNA marker technology in its crop breeding in combination with conventional approaches. This will result in the development high yielding superior crop cultivars with increased production and thus high income to the farmers.

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