Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company (Mahyco) was established in 1964 and offers a wide range of varieties for cotton, field crops and vegetables. The company was founded with the objective of strengthening Indian food sovereignty and is now one of India’s best established seed companies. US-based company Monsanto holds 26% of Mahyco’s shares. Along with Monsanto, Mahyco owns a joint venture, Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India) Pvt Ltd, which sublicenses BT cotton seed technology to various seed companies. Outside of South and Southeast Asia, Mahyco is increasing its activities, notably through its controlling stake in Quton Seed Company, based in Harare, Zimbabwe.

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South and Southeast Asia

Summary of results:

Mahyco ranks 19th out of 24 index companies. Its ranking reflects its general lack of disclosure of commitments and activities related to access to seeds, although it has disclosed some activities in Research & Development and Seed Production. No evidence was found of activities in Genetic Resources and the company discloses limited information publicly on its activities in other measurement areas. The company’s contribution to the adoption of BT eggplant is notable.

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Operations in Scope
  • Countries in Scope
  • Company Presence
  • Production Locations
  • Breeding Station/R&D
Index Crops in Portfolio
Seed type
Hybrid OPV GM
Field crops
Rice, paddy
Pepper (hot)
Local Crops in Portfolio
  • Mustard
Leading Practices

    Mahyco provided a license for its hybrid eggplant on a royalty-free basis to the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute through the Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project II. With no constraints on farmers saving and replanting seeds, the number of farmers adopting BT eggplant is increasing.

    The company states that it follows stringent quality assurance standards. Covering 59 locations, the ISO 9001 certification awarded to the company is the largest multi-location certification in India.

Areas for Improvement

    Mahyco is encouraged to increase its disclosure across all measurement areas, better link its activities to the needs of smallholder farmers and develop formal commitments or policies to guide these activities.

Notable Findings

    The company states that it has a commitment to improve the productivity of small and marginal farmers through its ‘farmer first’ goal.

    The Mahyco Research Centre has a well-developed breeding program in India that focuses on crop improvement by incorporating specific traits such as insect resistance through genetic modification and tolerance for abiotic stress such as salinity, drought and herbicides.

    The company conducts collaborative research while also investing in an R&D program In India on hybrid rice in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

    The company follows international standards for seed testing. It states that it is certified by the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA).

    The company has in place promotion strategies and/or demonstration services as evidenced by the Mahyco Innovation Day held in 2017. The company also reports running briefing sessions to inform farmers and dealers about its products.