The agri division of Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) signed a joint venture agreement with HZPC of Holland, a leading innovator in potato breeding, seed potato growing and seed potato trading, to offer best quality seed potatoes to farmers within and outside India.

A joint statement from the companies said the venture would have Mahindra holding 60 per cent and HZPC holding the remaining 40 per cent.

Mahindra started its seed potato business in 2005 and today it works with over 600 seed potato growers through contract farming arrangement. The total potato market in India is estimated at around 43 million tonnes and about 10 per cent is used as seeds by farmers, the statement said. “Thus the potential of seed potato market is more than 4 million tonnes, of which only 0.25 million tonnes is now organised. While the organised sector is growing at 15-17 per cent, the overall seed potato industry is expected to grow around 6 per cent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR).

In a statement, Ashok Sharma, CEO, Agri & Allied Businesses, M&M, said, “to further grow this business, we will require special technology and will also need to put in some investments in the supply chain.’’

On the joint venture he said, “Not only will this help in our quest for delivering farmer prosperity through agronomy and better technology but will also open up global market, thus providing our farmers with better returns”.

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