Mahindra Agri Partners With KeyGene to Innovate in Key Crops

Mahindra Agri Solutions has tied up with KeyGene to drive innovation and yield enhancement in key crops

Dutch genomics company KeyGene and Indian automotive company Mahindra & Mahindra’s subsidiary, Mahindra Agri Solutions (MASL), have agreed a multi-year strategic research collaboration for key field crops.

The deal will allow the Mahindra to use KeyGene’s crop innovation platforms for the development of economically important and market relevant traits. This technology collaboration plans to yield highly productive and more resilient varieties of crops ‘helping to deliver on Mahindra’s FarmTech Prosperity brand promise’.  Most significantly, the collaboration will ensure crop resistance to abiotic stresses such as drought & heat, and biotic stresses like pests and diseases, in MASL’s proprietary germplasm.

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Ashok Sharma, Managing Director and CEO, Mahindra Agri Solutions Limited, said “At MASL, we are committed to Farming 3.0, the new age of farming that encompasses a range of advanced techniques to elevate the entire agri-ecosystem, through the provision of customized products and solutions using sustainable global technologies. KeyGene is a global leader in crop innovation and we are excited to leverage their expertise, next-generation technologies and trait platforms to develop highly productive and more resilient crops for both the Indian market and new geographies. I am confident that this strategic global collaboration will be a win-win for both the companies.”

The official statement mentions that the collaboration will work on improving Non-GM crop varieties, and enable MASL’s growth in existing key markets as well as new markets and deliver superior hybrids in focus crops, helping drive the company’s seeds business into the ‘next orbit of growth’. It will further result in delivering FarmTech Prosperity and increase farmers’ income.

Arjen van Tunen, CEO of KeyGene said, “We recognize MASL’s commitment to farmers and regard it as a leader in the arena of bringing innovative solutions to the market, based on state-of-the art breeding technology and a strong germplasm base. We are excited to embark on this journey with MASL and support them in accelerating their breeding programs using our proprietary technologies and know-how. This will result in improved non-GM crop varieties and increased MASL business in India and Asia”.

Recently, KeyGene scientists became the first to successfully breed sweet pepper plants that have lost their susceptibility to geminiviruses. Rising demand for increasing the production of food grains and other crops has driven the demand for innovative and factual experiments to increase their production. This has caused the market growth for plant phenotyping to rise high.

Improved crop varieties that yield higher than traditional crops are the result of plant phenotyping. This will act as a major market driver. According to Data Bridge Market Research, the global Plant Phenotyping Market is set to rise from its initial estimated value of USD 159.3 million in 2018 to an estimated value of USD 367.3 million by 2026, registering a CAGR if 11.0% in the forecast period of 2019-2026. This trend for the product is driven by the demand for improved crop varieties.

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