Insecticides India & Japan’s OAT Agrio invest $7M to set up R&D unit in Rajasthan

New Delhi-based agro chemicals manufacturer Insecticides India Ltd (IIL) and Japanese firm OAT Agrio Co Ltd have invested Rs 40 crore ($6.5 million) to set up a new research and development (R&D) facility at Chopanki, Rajasthan. The companies joined hands last year to form the equal equity joint venture (JV) OAT and IIL India Laboratories Pvt Ltd.

The facility is situated adjacent to the company's Bhiwadi plant and spread across 25,000 sq ft working area. It aims to research and invent two-three agro-chemical molecules to control pests, weeds and diseases affecting important crops like soybean, cotton, wheat and rice across globe in next three years.

The new venture employs around 45 people including chemists and biologists and would evaluate about 7, 000 compounds every year.

“This is the first time that we have set up this kind of facility outside Japan which makes it all the more glorious for us. The coming together of the two companies has set the ball rolling for discovery of new molecules that will be beneficial for important crops like soybean, cotton and wheat and rice world over. We are aiming to apply for 10 basic patents in the next three years and discover two-three new molecules,” said Akihei Mori, president & CEO, OAT Agrio Co Ltd.

Established in September 2010, OAT Agrio Co Ltd (earlier Otsuka AgriTechno Co Ltd) is engaged in research and development, manufacture and sales of agricultural chemicals and fertilisers. It works on the development of new technologies to enhance food production and uses technologies for protecting crops from insects, diseases and weeds; drip fertilisation and irrigation technology, and biostimulant.

"The world has 1,055 molecules and today India has just 250 molecules; so there is a vast scope of developing technology in the country. I am sure that this will help Indian farmers get the benefit of the latest technology at the most reasonable prices,” said Rajesh Aggarwal, MD, Insecticides (India) Ltd.

Founded in 1996, IIL is a manufacturer and distributor of plant protection chemicals and house hold pesticides. Having more than 110 formulation products and 15 technical products, the company offers crop, paddy, cotton, wheat, sugarcane, vegetables, mustard, groundnut and urban pest.

It currently has manufacturing facilities in Chopanki (Rajasthan), Samba and Udhampur (Jammu & Kashmir), Dahej (Gujarat) besides technical synthesis plants at Chopanki and Dahej to manufacture technical grade chemicals such as imidacloprid, acetamiprid, dichlorovos, lambdacyhalothrin, D-Trans allethrin, glyphosate, butachlor and thiamethoxam.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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