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    Gerard Backx, CEO of HZPC Holland BV

    The agri division of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, part of the $16.7 billion Mahindra Group, today signed a joint venture agreement in Chandigarh with Holland's HZPC, one of the leading innovative companies in the world in potato breeding, seed potato growing and seed potato trading to offer the best quality seed potatoes to farmers within and outside India.

    The joint venture will initially invest Rs 20 crore in Northern region including Punjab and Haryana and will have Mahindra and HZPC holding 60 and 40% equity respectively in the company, subject to the parties receiving all applicable approvals.

    Under the JV, The company will set up tissue culture lab near Chandigarh, will invest in supply chain, warehouses etc. and looking at working with farmers in Fatehgarh Sahib, Ludhiana, Nawanashaher, Moga, Ropar in Punjab and some parts of Haryana.

    Speaking on the occasion, Ashok Sharma, Chief Executive, Agri & Allied Businesses, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said: “To further grow this business, we will require special technology and will also need to put in some investments in the supply chain. It is therefore a matter of great pride for us that we have signed this JV with HZPC Holland being one of the leading and the most advanced Seed Potato companies in the world. Not only will this help in our quest for delivering farmer prosperity through agronomy and better technology but will also open up global markets, thus providing our farmers with better returns."

    According to Gerard Backx, CEO, HZPC, “We feel confident that this JV will help us provide high quality seeds and new varieties to the seed potato growers in India and also open up export avenues for them. HZPC is a farmers’ company with its majority equity held by farmers. We have already sent 19 latest varieties from Europe for testing in India and are sure that some of them will go a long way in enhancing farmer productivity in the country”.

    The joint venture will benefit from the expertise of both companies where HZPC with their strong R&D focus will bring in access to latest technology, new varieties and open up global markets for the Indian farmers. Mahindra will contribute through their strong farmer connect, wide spread domestic distribution and agronomy expertise. The new company will construct a state of the art facility to produce Tissue culture plants and Mini-tubers. The aim of the facility is to offer high quality mini-tubers and early generation seed potatoes to the farmers.