New Delhi: Emboldened by the good response to its Bt cotton seeds from farmers and with the government approving five more of its hybrids, JK Agri Genetics aims to nearly triple its market share to 8% in this kharif season.
“Our target is to have a market share of 7-8% in Bt cotton seeds,” JK Agri Genetics president P.S. Dravid said.
The current share of the company in the Bt cotton seed, dominated by multinational giant Monsanto and its associates, is about 3%, Dravid said, adding that JK Agri Genetics entered the market only last year. The company, which had a turnover of about Rs80 crore in 2006-07, aims to post a 50-60% growth in the current year. However, it does not plan to reduce the prices of its Bt cotton seeds, he added.
“Already prices of Bt cotton seeds are low following government’s order. There is no plan to reduce the rates further now,” he said. The company received clearance of the genetic engineering approval committee (GEAC) a few days back for commercial sale of five hybrids of Bt cotton, taking its total genetically modified (GM) seeds to nine.
GEAC is likely to clear, by next year, two more hybrids developed by the company, which are currently in the second year of the trial, he said, adding they would be released in the South. “All these hybrids are of the same event—X-Gene—developed indigenously in association with IIT Kharagpur,” Dravid said.
Higher yields: Field labourers picking cotton. JK Agri Genetics received clearance recently for the commercial sale of five cotton hybrids.
Of the five Bt cotton seeds released in this kharif season, three would be launched in Maharashtra and Gujarat while one each in the north and south zone, he said.
The company’s focus is now on the central zone, particularly Gujarat and Maharashtra where a total of four hybrids would be available this year.
The cotton area in the on-going kharif sowing season increased to 15.29 lakh hectare (ha) till 28 June against 14.7 lakh ha in the year-ago period . Out of this, 8.68 lakh ha has been sown under Bt cotton, sources in the agriculture ministry said.