Pure play agriculture firm Corteva Agriscience that provides a range of solutions to the farming community, from seeds, crop protection to digital, is upbeat on enhancing engagement in India in terms of its research-led manufacturing footprint, headcount and product offerings.
“India for us is a core strategic growth market, we will continue ramping up our presence,” President-South Asia Rahoul Sawani told media persons visiting Corteva’s Toopran Research Centre (TRC), near Hyderabad, on Tuesday.
Besides growing manufacturing footprint and headcount, India can emerge as a market for new pipeline of products developed and manufactured for the first time. “You can first manufacture [in India] and export to rest of world... matches with the Make in India policy,” he said, responding to a query on reports of Corteva exiting and cutting jobs in some markets globally.
In India, the firm has three manufacturing units, five research and development facilities and more than 1,400 employees. Corteva has a strong presence in Telangana, including the TRC spread on 17 acres and a 160-acre multi-crop plant breeding research facility in Wargal mandal that serves as its technology hub for Asia Pacific.
Stating Corteva also works in the country with a clutch of external manufacturers, including two figuring in a list of its five key strategic suppliers globally, Mr.Sawani said “90% [of production from India] is exported and that’s going to continue to grow.” Without sharing specific numbers related to growth and hiring plans, he said the company would continue to pursue a strategy of both inhouse and third party manufacturing. “It is really important for us to work with third party manufacturers... we are bringing technologies to these companies, partnering with them to scale up the latest technologies. India is strong as a market, innovation and skills hub and a high quality, high tech, cost effective manufacturing hub for us,” he said.
Meanwhile, Corteva is gearing up to introduce a seed-applied technology. The product, which in Asia Pacific has been launched in Thailand and China and set to be rolled out in Indonesia, will be for paddy and maize crops. In India, the firm has applied to the Centre for registration and initiated field trials with rice farmers.
Regional Commercialisation and Business Lead, Seed Applied Technologies Portfolio APAC Prasanta Patra said SAT is at a nascent stage in India, especially for rice. The technology involves treating the seed rather than applying crop protection solutions in the field and thus help lower environmental exposure to chemicals in agriculture.