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Nuziveedu Seeds completes 50 years of service to farmers

Targets 2X market growth to double its revenue over next 4-5 years and gain market shares across all the major crops

Nuziveedu Seeds completes 50 years of service to farmers

L- R: Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd Chief Strategic Officer Sharad Khurana, Chairman & Managing Director Dr M Prabhakar Rao, Whole Time Director Dr P Sateesh kumar, and Chief Financial Officer V Srikanth 

Hyderabad, January 30: Nuziveedu Seeds Limited (NSL) has completed 50 years of service to the farming community. On the occasion, its management has extended their gratitude to all the farmers, seed producers, channel partners, scientists, government officials, industry peers and employees.

NSL was founded in 1973 by Mandava Venkata Ramaiah, an agricultural technologist near Nuziveedu town of Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh. It is among the few companies that started around the same time as the inception of private seed sector in India and initially working towards taking the public bred varieties to the farmers and eventually developing its own research program to offer value added improved varieties and hybrid seeds to the farming community. Only a handful of the companies have survived. NSL was one among very few to have crossed Rs 1,000-crore revenue over the years.

Dr M Prabhakar Rao, Chairman of NSL Group and Managing Director of NSL took up the family managed seed company in 1982 and went on to nurture the company into a market leader in the Indian seed industry. NSL is a pioneer company in the marketing of hybrid cotton seeds in the country.

The cotton hybrids ‘Bunny’ and ‘Mallika’, developed under his guidance, became the most popular hybrids in the market. The high yield, pest and disease tolerance, and quality fibre of these seeds has resulted in their rapid and widespread adoption by the farmers making NSL the leader in Cotton Seed business and sold over 1 crore packets capturing almost one-third of the cotton seed market at one point.

NSL’s growth momentum has been fueled by superior genetics in cotton and improved paddy varieties growing the business organically at rapid pace. The company made acquisition of partner companies namely Prabhat Agri Biotech Limited, Parvardhan Seeds Private Limited & Yaganti Seeds Private Limited (now named Asha Agrisciences) to expand its horizons beyond cotton and improved paddy to inorganically grow and strengthen market presence in maize, hybrid paddy, mustard and bajra seed business.

Today, the annual turnover is a equal mix of both cotton and field crops business expanding our footprint to the length and breadth of our country and beyond. What differentiates NSL from rest of the companies is a wider portfolio of crops catering to food, fiber, oilseeds and vegetable requirement of the nation.

Over the years, NSL had invested aggressively in cutting edge research and development (R&D) through conventional breeding as well as utilisation of modern technology to deliver industry leading seed varieties and hybrids.

Many of its products are used as national checks in All India Coordinated Research Projects, talks about our product development capabilities. A 150 plus strong and qualified team of scientists works day and night to develop and test pipeline products across major crops that cater to almost 85 per cent of the cropped area in the country.

During the last 20 years, NSL has developed an industry leading supply and warehousing capability to cater to growing market needs. It is the only private sector company with 13 processing facilities and 29 cold storages and warehouses spread across 10 States of the country. A team of almost 500 employees work with almost one lakh seed producing farmers to produce and deliver high quality seeds to the farmers in India.

NSL today employs more than 2,000 customer facing full time employees and sales promoters to serve a customer base of almost 5 million farmers through a robust network of 7,500 distributors and 20,000 retailers.

The Indian seed industry is expanding rapidly at a healthy 10 per cent year-on-year due to increasing seed replacement ratios and increasing awareness amongst farmers about role of high-quality seed in improving farm productivity. Recent launches of new cotton hybrids like Asha, Aadhya, Navneeth, Siri, Revanth and Ray have positioned NSL for much faster growth with its cotton business.

With increased focus on product and market development for field crops, NSL has launched several pathbreaking hybrid products like BX-44, X4 & RX100 in hybrid rice, Winner, Capsule, Kranthi & Danvir in hybrid corn, Raja Jute and Sandhya, Sri Annapurna, NP9624, Dhanwan & Balwan in improved varietal rice segments.

NSL has also entered newer crops like hybrid millets (SunMax) and hybrid mustard (Zordar, Champion & Basanti) helping farmers in Western India to evolve from subsistence farming to surplus.

The significant contributions made by NSL to the agriculture of India include development of hybrids Bunny and Mallika followed by many others which are popular now to enhance yield as well as fibre quality to above 30 mm which has contributed substantially to the growth of the textile industry.

It has also contributed to rice variety development by private sector leading to many other companies following suit thereby enhancing the varietal availability to the farmers. It has spread Bt cotton seeds to the farmers at more affordable prices.

The company has developed machinery for cotton seed processing and treatment to deliver better value to the farmers. It has done extensive R&D for development and testing of new varieties/ hybrids across the country which delivered superior products for increased incomes of the farmers.

It has conducted training of substantial number of professionals who went on to serve the industry across the country and contributed to seed industry and agriculture. In addition to our own proprietary research, we continue to collaborate with ICAR and government institutes to commercialise newer products and technologies coming out of the public research system. Soon to be commercialised HT Rice technology is one example.

As a result of all above, NSL is expected to grow at 2X of market growth to triple its revenue over next 4-5 years and gain market shares across all the major crops. Agriculture as such is dependent on monsoon and vagaries of weather, which offers a lot of challenges and might lead to crop shifts or changes in farmer buying behaviour.

NSL has identified this as an opportunity and is preparing itself dynamically by deploying modern techniques for developing climate resilient products. Policy enablement for utilization and deployment of newer technologies for such product development could help fast track these initiatives. NSL is investing substantially to develop products adaptable to changed agronomic practices that enhance productivity and mechanization.

The High Density Planting System (HDPS) initiative in cotton is just one example. NSL is also working towards expanding our seed business in other South Asian and African countries and developing alternate models of sales and B2B collaborations within and outside the country to maximize our genetic footprint and market shares.

Significant investments have been made to upgrade ERP & digital capabilities of the company to keep pace with the changing market needs and growth aspirations.

NSL also understands its corporate social responsibility and has been making significant investments to deliver to our commitments to society. NSL is working diligently to develop & roll out an ESG framework and looking to nurturing partnerships that fulfill its commitment for a safer and greener environment.

N Sharath Chowdary
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