The Indian Seeds Market Offers Good Opportunities for Global Companies

28 Jul 2010 • by Natalie Aster
The Indian Seeds Market Offers Good Opportunities for Global Companies
Agriculture accounts for 21% of India’s GDP. About two-thirds of the population are dependent on rural employment. A few years ago the agriculture sector indicated a growth of only about 2.5% annually, in recent years though the growth has reached 4.7% a year, facilitated by good monsoons, greater production of high-value crops, an increase in the minimum support prices for grains, and the rise in global prices for agricultural products.

India disposes of enormously large arable areas, the country ranks second giving it in only to the USA in sheer size of agriculture. India has all the potential to emerge as a global power in agriculture in view of its large arable land area, sizeable irrigated area, rich agri-biodiversity, diverse agro climate.

Seed is a fundamental, crucial and yield enhancing input for sustained growth in farm production. The role of the seeds sector is to ensure adequacy, seed quality, and varietals diversity.

Indian seeds and seedlings market is listed as the 8th largest in the world, it is estimated at US$1.1 billion. Over the years, the Indian seeds market has grown at a rate of 12 % compared to less than 5% growth of the global seed market. The turnover on this market reaches US$1100 mln. In 2008 India exported seeds totalling US$28.15 mln and seedlings accounting totally $12 mln. At the same time this market represents a large scale of importing – US$52 mln worth seeds and $6.6 mln worth seedlings were bought from overseas suppliers.

The Indian seeds industry has undergone a wide range of transformation over the years which include an increasing role of private sector seed companies, rising presence of multinational seed companies with focus on biotechnology, and wide ranging changes in regulatory frameworks, which would affect seed research, marketing, distribution and trade in coming years.

Although the Indian seeds and seedlings market is one of the largest, it is almost exclusively supplied by locally produced traditional seeds. The use of hybrid seeds is mostly confined to cotton, and to some extent to corn, millet, sunflower, and few vegetables. However, awareness about the high yield and quality of produce from hybrid seeds, attracting farmers to switch over to hybrids, is growing.

The seeds market in India is big and is growing, therefore it offers good opportunities for global companies. This industry needs policy support to make even bigger contributions in the future with regard to encouragement for investment in research and infrastructure; freedom to operate based on free market principles; and streamlining of regulatory processes to accelerate the development and introduction of new genetically modified technology.

More information on the Indian seeds and seedlings market may be found in the report Fruit Seedlings, Vegetable and Forage Seeds Market in India: Business Report 2010 recently published by TD The Market Publishers, Ltd.