DuPont to strengthen biz with 2 cotton acquisitions


The Financial Express (India)
June 26, 2009

Hyderabad – Science-based research company DuPont has made two cotton acquisitions in India to enhance its product lineup and strengthen its growing business here. The company’s cotton business arm, Pioneer Hi-Bred has purchased the cotton seed business of Nandi Seeds, based in Mehboob Nagar, Andhra Pradesh besides acquiring cotton germplasm from Nagarjuna Seeds, also based in Andhra Pradesh.

“These acquisitions will help us enter the cotton seed market here and meet the needs of Indian farmers who grow more than nine million hectares of cotton each year, more than anywhere else in the world,” said KV Subbarao, country manager, Pioneer India.

“Cotton is a natural fit for Pioneer in India. It completes our high-value product and service offering to farmers and enables us to further strengthen our growing seed business here,” he said in a release. Pioneer currently offers corn, rice, pearl millet, sunflower and mustard in the Indian market and has grown revenue 40% annually for the last five years to reach about $70 million in 2008.

“Agriculture, food and nutrition is a key growth segment for DuPont in India and these acquisitions are part of the company’s strategy to expand its presence here,” said Balvinder S Kalsi, president, DuPont India.

This is the latest in a series of investments by DuPont in India. Pioneer recently announced the opening of a new corn research center in Bangalore to speed delivery of new, improved products to market and meet the growing demand for food and feed. The new Bangalore center is the fifth field research facility in India for Pioneer and would develop high-yielding hybrids adapted to the unique growing conditions in the area. DuPont has significantly increased its seed research investment in India in 2008 and has increased capacity for product development and evaluation across the country.

DuPont also recently established the DuPont Knowledge Center (DKC) in Hyderabad, India, which includes the Biotechnology Research Center, a key location for global biotech research. This biotech center is the first integrated agriculture and industrial biotechnology research center for DuPont outside the US and is one of five global agricultural biotech research facilities where DuPont conducts biotech discovery work.

Pioneer has been selling hybrid seed in India for more than 30 years and is one of the leading suppliers of improved seed genetics. Pioneer supports the sale of its products to more than 1.5 million customers in India with an extensive sales and agronomy team that works closely with Indian farmers to get the right product on the right hectare to maximize their productivity and profitability. Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, is the world’s leading source of customised solutions for farmers, livestock producers and grain and oilseed processors.

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