India

Last updated: November 2018
  • Region South and Southeast Asia
  • UPOV membership status Initiated the procedure for acceding to the UPOV Convention
  • Participation in OECD Seed Schemes Yes
  • ISTA accredited member laboratories Yes
  • GM crop approval for cultivation Cotton
  • Law on Plant Variety Protection Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act 2001
The seed sector in India

A favorable enabling environment has fueled the rapid growth and development of the seed sector in India. Although the Indian seed industry is one of the most mature in the region, the private sector is secretive about its business activities.

The Government of India has played an important role in developing policies and programs that have far-reaching impacts on the progress of smallholder farmers such as Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, a government-sponsored crop insurance scheme.

The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act 2001 has increased private sector investment in R&D to develop new varieties.

There are currently two seed associations: the National Seed Association of India (NSAI) and the Federation of Seed Industry of India (FSII). The latter was set up in 2016, following controversy around patents on insect resistance traits used in cotton.

India is among the top ten countries cultivating GM crops, with insect-resistant Bt cotton covering a land area of 11.4 million hectares in 2017.

Observations

Twenty-six index companies report having a presence in India. Eight companies have their headquarters in the country. Private agribusiness companies invest heavily in R&D and technological innovation, which is evident from the extensive company activity in the country.

Of the twenty-two companies that carry out seed production in the country, more than half involve mainly smallholder farmers in such activities.

The companies that have breeding locations in the country focus on breeding both vegetable crops and field crops.

Cotton is present in the portfolio of twelve companies. Only Bayer, Nuziveedu and National Seeds Corporation offer open pollinated varieties. Cotton is listed as the main crop in the region for companies such as Bayer and Nuziveedu.

Sixteen companies report having significant extension services, with dedicated staff to deliver them.

Index company activities identified in India
Company Crops in portfolio Company activities in country
Companies selected for
the Access to Seeds Index
Field
crops
Vegetables Breeding
location
Testing
location
Seed
production
Processing
location
Sales Extension
services
Acsen HyVeg **  *
Advanta  *
Bayer  *
Bejo
Bioseed **
Charoen Pokphand
Corteva Agriscience  *
East-West Seed  *
Enza Zaden
Kalash Seeds **  *
Known-You Seed
KWS
Lal Teer Seed
Limagrain  *
Mahyco **
Metahelix **
Monsanto  *
Namdhari Seeds **
National Seeds Corporation **  *
Nongwoo Bio
Nuziveedu Seeds **  *
Rijk Zwaan  *
Sakata
Seed Co
Syngenta  *
Takii
  • * Company involves smallholder farmers in seed production activities
  • ** Company headquartered in India

Other index companies are also active in the country. However, country-specific information for these companies is not available or was provided under non-disclosure.

Other companies identified in the regional
landscaping study and their activities
Company Crops in portfolio Company activities in country
Field
crops
Vegetable
crops
Breeding
location
Seed
production
Sales
JK Agri Genetics
Kaveri Seeds
VNR Seeds