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India net importer of veg seeds, China emerges as newest exporter

West Bengal-based Annapurna seeds starts field trials

Namrata Acharya  |  Kolkata 

With the vegetable seed industry in India increasingly getting dominated by imported seeds, China seems to be emerging as the newest vegetable seed exporter to India.

West Bengal-based, Annapurna seeds, has recently begun field trials of cabbage and cauliflower seeds imported from China, in the state. Based on the outcome of the trial, which takes up to two years, the company would consider commercial marketing of the seed, said Alok Marodia, owner, Annapurna seeds.

Vegetable seed market is increasingly getting dominated by exported seeds, with Taiwan, Japan, US and France, being the major seed importers to India.

In West Bengal alone, more than 70% of vegetable seeds were of imported variety, informed Pranab Chatterjee, director of farms, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya.

Between 2002-2020, at least 70 new seed importing companies have opened offices in West Bengal, as the demand for hybrid imported seeds had been rising steadily, said Chaterjee.

The Indian seed Industry has a turnover of about Rs 9000 Crore, according to information available from the website of  Nuziveedu Seeds, one of largest hybrid seed company in India.  During the past 5 years the Indian Seed Industry has been growing at a CAGR of 12% compared to global growth of 6-7%. In value terms the major growth has come from the increased adoption of Bt cotton hybrids, single cross corn hybrids and hybrid vegetables. The current vegetable seed market size of about ' 900 crores.

As per World Seed Trade Statistics, India has sixth largest size of domestic seed market in the world, estimated to be at about $1300 million, according to information in the government website. However, India’s share in global trade in seeds (import & export) is of only about $37 million only.

First Published: Thu, November 01 2012. 13:07 IST