Recently Mahindra HZPC brought 30 more potato varieties from HZPC to India. These new varieties come in addition to a set of now widely offered varieties introduced in 2011-12.
These latest varieties are expected to give rise to new and differentiated supply chains, especially in the modern retail space. They include for example HZPC's Perupas, an assortment of colourful varieties, rich in antioxidants for healthy lifestyle. A key point in the selection of varieties to bring to India is their resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses.
Mahindra HZPC is a 60:40 JV, formed in 2014, between Mahindra & Mahindra and HZPC Netherlands - world leader in seed potato. The vision of this joint venture is to become a trusted market leader in the seed potato business in and from India. The company supplies seed potatoes of HZPC varieties from Europe in addition to key Indian varieties.
Davinder Singh Dosanjh, CEO, Mahindra HZPC
All this to reach Mahindra & Mahindra's audacious goal of 'Farm Tech Prosperity', which means to bring prosperity to farmers through the use of technology. The company believes technology should be used for collaboration and win-win relationships. For HZPC varieties Mahindra HZPC has a strategic alliance with Bhatti Agritech, another reputed company in seed potato sector in India.
Production of minitubers
A state of the art facility for the production of minitubers was inaugurated by Mahindra HZPC in 2016.
Davinder Singh Dosanjh, CEO, Mahindra HZPC:
“Our minitubers are available to corporate clients like McCain, Hy-fun and Simplot, but also to seed producer farmers from the unorganised sector.”
“We've also exported minitubers to Russia for the last 3 years.”
The company offers minitubers produced using aeroponics in addition to minitubers grown in cocopeat. The current minituber production of Mahindra HZPC is 12 million.
Today Mahindra HZPC is fastest growing seed potato company in India.
Seed potato business requires lots of patience, perseverance and long-term vision. To bring and launch a successful variety takes 8-10 years, 3 years for importing and robust testing in diverse agroclimatic zones of India followed by 4 years for commercial production.
Mahindra HZPC took the lead in importing new European varieties and later on many other seed players from Europe have set foot in India. The company is convinced this will expand the market.
“Here we took the lead and imported our first batch in 2011-12 and now offering 6 novel and value adding varieties to Indian farmers.”
“Long and wide experience of HZPC is a big advantage. They do the preselection already, and only pre-screened varieties are sent for final testing in India, and that makes our hit rate much better, in the range of 30-50%.
We took the lead in importing new European varieties and later on many other seed players from Europe have set foot in India.
Identifying the potato varieties that are the best fit
Mahindra HZPC has identified the need gaps in the market, and tried to have the right fit variety, which clearly improves the income of the farmer, and benefits the industry.
“Our new varieties are a testimony to it, for example the chip sector struggles to have supplies in lean period, Taurus, our new crisping variety, can be stored for a longer period that has a multiplier effect on farmers income. It also assures raw material supplies for the processor.”Colomba is another key variety grown in 50 countries across the globe. This is early bulking and also stores good. Thus it gives a choice to a farmer to have a full crop and store it in case the price sentiments in early harvest market are not good.
It has additional advantages of a very good shining skin, much higher marketable grade recoveries, and an impressive taste, helping the farmers to fetch premium prices.
Other potato varieties imported to India as part of the first set of introductions:
- Sagitta – dual purpose and robust, easy to grow variety.
- Panamera – requires much less Nitrogen, thus is eco friendly.
- Memphis – Red skin, unique colour and shape, very high yielding variety.
And as indicated, many more potato varieties will follow.Today Mahindra HZPC is the fastest growing seed potato company in India.