Science-based products and services firm, DuPont, has forayed into the cotton seed market in India by making two cotton acquisitions in Andhra Pradesh through its business, Pioneer Hi-Bred. Pioneer Hi-Bred has acquired the cotton seed business of Nandi Seeds, based in Mehboob Nagar, and cotton germplasm business of Nagarjuna Seeds, based in Secunderabad.

According to a report in The Economic Times, Nandi Seeds has been acquired for Rs 40 crore. The acquisitions are aimed at enhancing DuPont’s product line up and strengthening its business in India. The ET reports further suggests that DuPont India will now sell Monsanto’s Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton through Nandi Seeds, which has a licence from Monsanto India to use BT technology to produce cotton seeds here.

Pioneer currently offers corn, rice, pearl millet, sunflower and mustard in the Indian markets. It has grown its revenues 40% annually for the last five years. Pioneer had revenues of around $70 million in 2008.

India is the world’s second largest producer as well consumer of cotton. The acquisitions will help DuPont tap this market to grow its business in the country.

Pioneer had recently announced the opening of a new corn research center in Bangalore to speed the delivery of products to market and meet the demand for food and feed. The Bangalore center is the fifth field research facility in India for Pioneer and will develop high-yielding hybrids. DuPont also recently established the DuPont Knowledge Center (DKC) in Hyderabad, which also includes the Biotechnology Research Center.

Pioneer has been selling hybrid seeds in India for more than 30 years and has over 1.5 million customers in the country. It provides customised solutions for farmers, livestock producers and grain and oilseed processors. Headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, Pioneer has operations in around 70 countries.

DuPont’s Indian subsidiary, DuPont India, has a team of 1,000 employees. It has six production facilities in India in three locations for DuPont Crop Protection, DuPont Engineering Polymers, DuPont Refinish, and Pioneer hybrid seeds.

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