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Thursday / September 21. 2023

This 3-year, $3 million partnership will equip farmers, conservation planners, and sustainability experts across North America with innovative tools to enhance drought resilience, improve soil health, and encourage sustainable water use

The Soil Health Institute (SHI) and Cargill are coming together to advance the implementation of regenerative agriculture practices through the promotion of water stewardship within agricultural supply chains. This 3-year, $3 million partnership will equip farmers, conservation planners, and sustainability experts across North America with innovative tools to enhance drought resilience, improve soil health, and encourage sustainable water use.

“Climate change-induced extreme weather events, including drought, heavy precipitation, and elevated temperatures, have dramatically intensified operational risks for farmers and the broader food, fibre, fuel, and beverage sector,” said Wayne Honeycutt, president and CEO of SHI. “Through this partnership, we’re expediting the adoption of regenerative systems by offering stakeholders practical insights to assess improvements in water storage and availability resulting from changes in on-farm practices.”

Recent SHI research has demonstrated that increases in available water holding capacity (AWHC) associated with soil organic carbon gains from soil health practice implementation can lead to twice as much water storage in the topsoil compared to previous estimates. This important finding, currently available as a set of mathematical equations, provides a scientifically robust framework to measure the impact of soil health management on water storage. Continuing efforts supported by this partnership will make this data more accessible to farmers and sustainability experts, enabling farmers to estimate how many more inches of water their soil can capture during the growing season due to improved soil health.

Ashley McKeon, director of regenerative agriculture at Cargill, affirmed, “We strongly believe that regenerative agricultural practices can play a pivotal role in mitigating the impacts of climate change and water stress on our agricultural systems, which is why we are committed to advancing regenerative agriculture across 10 million acres of agricultural land in North America by 2030. Building on more than five years of partnering with the Soil Health Institute, we are empowering farmers and stakeholders across the agricultural value chain with the tools they need to make informed decisions that contribute to a more sustainable and resilient future.”

This 3-year, $3 million partnership will equip

It will significantly increase agricultural productivity and profitability through effective, participatory, and sustainable water resources management over more than 220,000 hectares in 42 districts

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $106 million loan to improve water resources management and agricultural productivity in rural Bangladesh. 

The project builds on the success and lessons from three prior ADB-financed participatory small-scale water resources management projects in Bangladesh and scales up investment while intensifying climate and disaster resilience support and food security through new and improved water resources infrastructures and services for flood and drought risk management, drainage improvement, and irrigation systems modernisation. It will significantly increase agricultural productivity and profitability through effective, participatory, and sustainable water resources management over more than 220,000 hectares in 42 districts, home to 77 per cent of the rural poor.

Implemented by the Local Government Engineering Department, it will establish 150 new water management cooperative associations and strengthen 230 existing ones; support emergency reconstruction and modernisation of the Bakkhali rubber dam scheme; construct 110 kilometres of farm and village roads with all-weather features; and increase participation of women, youth, and small ethnic communities. 

“More than half of the national population live in rural areas, and agriculture is a main source of employment. Livelihoods are threatened by worsening water insecurity and climate impacts,” said Olivier Drieu, ADB Senior Water Resources Specialist. “The project will strengthen climate and disaster resilience by introducing water management measures, such as raising and strengthening flood embankments, deepening channels to increase water retention, irrigation structures, efficient electric pump-pipe and buried-pipe irrigation systems, as well as new technologies for crop and aquaculture production. It will also promote climate-smart agribusiness and fishery development and marketing to support the livelihoods of 380,000 households, especially those of women and vulnerable persons.”

The innovative and climate resilience features of the project have attracted cofinancing. The International Fund for Agricultural Development provides a loan of $42.98 million and the Government of the Netherlands a grant of $17.8 million to finance innovative pilot works and consulting services supporting the innovations. The Government of Bangladesh provides $58.22 million of counterpart funds.

It will significantly increase agricultural productivity and

The department has set a target of producing 50,000 seeds of potato from the hi-tech greenhouse set up at the Nagicherra Agricultural Research Centre

The Horticulture Department of Tripura has adopted a new method of using apical-rooted cuttings to produce quality seeds for potato cultivation, according to the local news. In the northeastern state, the farmers usually import potato seeds from outside the state and are facing challenges due to poor productivity and pest infection.

To address the perennial problem in potato cultivation, the horticulture department has set up a hi-tech greenhouse to produce quality seeds by adopting apical rooted cutting, which has already become popular in Assam and Meghalaya.

Initially, the department has set a target of producing 50,000 seeds of potato from the hi-tech greenhouse set up at Nagicherra Agricultural Research Centre, 17 km from the state capital. The department has already roped in the International Potato Centre (CIP) in Peru. Apical cuttings are rooted transplants produced in a greenhouse from tissue culture plantlets.

Rather than allowing tissue culture plantlets to mature and produce mini tubers, cuttings are produced from the plantlets. Once rooted, the cuttings are transplanted into the field to produce seed tubers. Ghosh said the seeds will be distributed among the farmers to grow potatoes in their farmlands.

The department has set a target of

The capital will be invested in profitably scaling Indigo’s unique science and technology to boost farm revenues and de-carbonize the planet.

Boston based Indigo Ag, the premier sustainability partner of the agriculture industry, announced that it has raised over $250 million to drive innovation and growth in its sustainable agriculture programs and better serve its customers and partners. The successful investment round signals market validation of the company’s strategy and confidence in Indigo’s unique ability to drive farmer and agribusiness success at scale.

“Farmers and agribusinesses need strong, innovative partners that create value,” said Jed Miller, chief strategy officer for Ag Partners Coop. “This fundraise is not only a win for Indigo, but a major win for market access. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Indigo to drive farmer success.”

The funding round includes existing investors, led by Flagship Pioneering, and new investors, including the State of Michigan Retirement System, one of the largest pension funds in the U.S. and Lingotto Investment Management, a $3 billion innovation-focused fund owned by Exor N.V., one of Europe’s largest diversified holding companies.

“In this difficult and obsessively short-term financial environment, it is vital to back innovative companies that are critical to meeting the challenges of the future of the Earth,” said James Anderson, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer –Innovation at Lingotto. “We believe that Indigo Ag has endured demanding times but now has a bright future and an important role in mitigating climate damage. Therefore, Lingotto Innovation is proud to support the company.”

Indigo has entered a period of acceleration across its integrated business platform:

Net revenues for 2022 grew 40 per cent year-over-year and revenues for the first seven months of 2023 grew 90 per cent compared to 2022.

Through its digital sustainability products, Indigo has had success working with multibillion dollar companies to reduce their Scope 3 emissions through its Market+ Source program and is on track to deliver 30 million bushels of sustainably grown grains in 2023.

The company has also produced an industry-leading 133,000 registry issued, agricultural carbon credits of the highest quality and scientific rigor. Indigo is already working on its unprecedented third carbon crop and enrollment figures for its fourth carbon harvest show continued growth in both farmer and acreage participation.

Indigo will continue the expansion of its digital products – Market+ Source sustainable crop program – and has a biological product pipeline of 38 new biological products scheduled to launch globally over the next 30 months.

“This important fundraise signals Indigo Ag’s successful transition from a startup to a trusted partner that is delivering critical sustainability solutions,” said Ron Hovsepian, President and CEO of Indigo Ag. “We have the science, business momentum and sufficient resources to continue to deliver on our promises to our partners and customers. We are well positioned for growth and profitability as we work with the agricultural value chain to turn sustainability into real value.”

The capital will be invested in profitably

Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Finance Minister & Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Agriculture Minister and jointly unveiled KCC Ghar Ghar Abhiyaan, Kisan Rin Portal and WINDS manual.

In a landmark event, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman & Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar unveiled initiatives focused on agri-credit (KCC & MISS) and crop insurance (PMFBY/RWBCIS). The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare launched three initiatives, namely the Kisan Rin Portal (KRP), KCC Ghar Ghar Abhiyaan, an ambitious campaign aiming to extend the benefits of the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) Scheme to every farmer across the nation and a manual on Weather Information Network Data Systems (WINDS). These initiatives aim to revolutionize agriculture, enhance financial inclusion, optimize data utilization, and improve the lives of farmers across the nation.

Delivering keynote address on the occasion, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman assured full cooperation of banks for success of Ghar Ghar KCC Abhiyan. She said that the government under Prime minister Narendra Modi has allocated enough money under KCC scheme to ensure easy short-term loans to farmers and their onboarding for the scheme. The finance minister commended Ministry of Agriculture for its initiatives and successful implementation of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). She said that over 1,40,000 crores of insurance amount have been disbursed to farmers so far against a premium amount of Rs. 29,000 crores. She also appreciated real time estimation for rice and wheat crop output and called for the estimation to be extended to Dalhan and Tilhan crops so that better planning can be done for their imports, if needed. The finance minister said that real time estimation of crops will help the economy and ensure right prices for farmers at the end of crop season. Sitharaman also called for full automation of regional rural banks and cooperative banks and directed Department of Financial services to study the gap between loan sanction and loan disbursement for these banks.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in his address highlighted the importance accorded to agriculture and rural economy under the current government. He informed that budget for Ministry of agriculture has increased from Rs. 23,000 crores in year 2013-14 to Rs. 1,25,000 crores in 2023-24. Talking of WINDS manual, the minister said the aim is to ensure real time weather information so that farmers can take right precaution for their crops at the right time. Shri Tomar said that use of technology and transparency is important for agriculture and this government has taken necessary steps in this regard.  The agriculture minister informed that there are around 9 crore beneficiaries under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi and the aim of KCC Ghar Ghar Abhiyaan is to connect around 1.5 crore beneficiaries who are not yet connected to KCC scheme. Tomar also thanked Ministry of Finance and banks for providing around 2 crore KCCs to farmers even during Corona pandemic. The minister asserted that it was agriculture and rural sector which kept the economy going even during the pandemic.

Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Finance Minister & Narendra

Kenya exports 23 per cent of production of avocados and India market access to Kenyan Avocados will help balance the trade deficit and will facilitate growth and development in this sector.

Small domestic production opens an opportunity for the good quality imports said Swadha Rizvi, Deputy Secretary, East and Southern Africa Division Ministry of External Affairs at the launch event of Kenyan Avocado in India jointly organised by Kenya High Commission and ASSOCHAM.  This avocado launch event will definitely improve bilateral relations with robust and multi-faceted partnerships. India offers immense potential for avocado consumption.  

She further focused on saying that it took 8 long years for negotiations and diplomacy for Kenya to get market access in India for Avocados. So, it is definitely a moment to celebrate as Avocado represents the history, culture and emotions of Kenya and culture is a gateway that has the power to bind countries together and its people together. This is a milestone in the diplomacy of the two countries and bilateral relationships between India and Kenya. Government of India is confident that Avocado market access will help us to strengthen our trade relations with Kenya.    

Amb. Irene Oloo, Deputy High Commissioner of Kenya to India shared insights on how Kenya exports about 23 per cent of production of avocado. (95,000 tonnes). The increased production of avocados in Kenya calls for increased market access. It is for this reason that Kenya requested India to allow market access for Kenyan avocados.

She further added that the value of trade between two countries has been growing over the years to USD 1.83 billion in 2022. Currently the Balance of trade is in favour of India. We are confident the India market access to Kenyan Avocados will help balance the trade deficit and will facilitate growth and development in this sector, she highlighted.

Kenya is the world’s 6th largest avocados producer with a cultivated area of nearly 26,000 ha and a production of 416000 metric tonnes in 2021, double that of 2016. The increase of 20 per cent per annum on average has been achieved largely through the expansion of avocado plantation by an average of 14 per cent per annum with yields increasing by about 6 per cent. This sector is dominated by small farmers owning less than 2 ha, who produce 70 per cent of all Kenyan Avocados.

Kenya exports 23 per cent of production of avocados. Kenya accounts for about 82 per cent of East Africa community avocado fruits export. Kenya’s main export markets are Netherlands, USA, China Spain, UK, UAE, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt among others. We are happy that India has been added to its export markets.

Dr Umesh Kamble Co-Chairman ASSOCHAM MSDC and Founder, CEO Farm to Forks highlighted the nutritional value of the superfood and also called avocado as green gold. Consumption of avocadoes is growing in India with respect to additional health benefits but the availability is less. It is a value-added product for the Agri business.

Dr Kamble called for awareness creation and promoting Avocado consumption among Indians. To further boost the consumption of avocados in India, we need to focus on awareness campaigns and educational initiatives to educate people about the nutritional benefits of avocados, different ways to incorporate them into daily meals, and the importance of supporting domestic avocado farmers. He also urged the industry to invest in research to develop innovative avocado-based products that cater to the Indian palate and meet consumer demands.

Kenya exports 23 per cent of production

Conrad K. Sangma, Chief Minister inaugurated the North East Wine Incubation Centre in Mawdiangdiang, Shillong

Conrad K. Sangma, Chief Minister of Meghalaya, recently launched a strategy to establish the state as the ‘Fruit Wine Capital of India.’ The launch took place at the inauguration of the North East Wine Incubation Centre in Mawdiangdiang, Shillong. During the event, the Chief Minister outlined a comprehensive policy aimed at creating a thriving ecosystem that promotes tourism, agriculture, entrepreneurship and job creation through the support and promotion of local fruit winemakers.

While sampling a homemade pineapple wine that was presented on a handcrafted label on a beer bottle, Chief Minister Sangma was struck with inspiration for an innovative initiative. Despite the unassuming packaging, the high quality of the wine inside left a lasting impression on him. This experience sparked his vision to revolutionize the production and packaging of wine in the state.

‘Despite the unimpressive packaging, the wine was exceptional. This experience led to the realisation of immense potential in Meghalaya’s fruit wine industry.

During a recent discussion, Chief Minister Sangma highlighted the significance of the initiative that connects tourism, agriculture, and job creation. He believes that this initiative has the potential to unleash untapped capacities and create opportunities for the people of the state. According to him, his mission in public life is to make a positive impact on people’s lives, no matter how small. He added that the project they are working on will bring about a significant positive change in people’s lives.

The Chief Minister has expressed confidence in achieving the goal of making Meghalaya the fruit-wine capital of the country by collaborating with all stakeholders. The newly inaugurated wine incubation centre is expected to provide a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to test and utilise machinery, fostering innovation and economic growth through wine production.

Chief Minister Sangma addressed concerns regarding licensing and accessibility for winemakers. He reassured the public that licensing fees would remain nominal and announced that the government is taking steps to streamline the registration process to make it easier for local winemakers to access it.

The first North East Wine Incubation Centre, attended by Agriculture Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh and Excise Minister Kyrmen Shylla, was inaugurated.

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Conrad K. Sangma, Chief Minister inaugurated the

The guidance document builds on existing international guidance documents, on the expertise and experience of a panel of experts drawn from the ICCF founding members

The International Cooperation for Convergence of Technical Requirements for the Assessment of Feed Ingredients (ICCF) Steering Committee announced that it has endorsed the guidance document on ‘Identification and characterisation of feed ingredients’ during its meeting in September 2023.

In 2021, an Expert Working Group composed of dedicated regulatory authorities and industry experts from the founding ICCF members was created to provide recommendations on information necessary for the establishment of the identity and characterisation of feed ingredients. This guidance document will support the applicants to gather the relevant information for that purpose. The guidance document is accompanied by a checklist to support the applicants when collecting the data to be included in the submission package.

The guidance document builds on existing international guidance documents, on the expertise and experience of a panel of experts drawn from the ICCF founding members, and on the comments received during the consultation phase conducted in January 2022.

The guidance document builds on existing international

The new flexible solar greenhouse actively improves the insulation performance of the greenhouse in terms of design, material selection, and construction

At present, China’s greenhouse area ranks first in the world, but the level of automation, mechanisation, and intelligence still needs to be improved. The current situation of greenhouse agriculture in China is mainly dominated by small and medium-sized individual growers. In order to better meet the needs of users, Kingpeng fully leverages its own research advantages and has independently developed and designed a new type of flexible solar greenhouse.

Optimisation and innovation, temperature increase and insulation: The new flexible solar greenhouse actively improves the insulation performance of the greenhouse in terms of design, material selection, and construction. It adjusts according to the characteristics of different regional environments to improve the practicality of the greenhouse. It optimises the light transmission curve for different regions, selects PO film with good service life, good light transmission, and good anti-fog and anti-drip effect, and increases the sunlight temperature inside the greenhouse. For example, in projects such as Hohhot in Inner Mongolia and Ulanqab, the sealing and thermal bridge insulation of the greenhouse is enhanced, improving the overall insulation performance of the greenhouse, and the temperature difference between inside and outside the greenhouse can reach 20℃ or more.

Cost reduction, shortened construction period: The structure of the new flexible solar greenhouse mainly consists of an underground foundation and insulation part, full steel skeleton and flexible insulation walls on the east, west, and north sides, front light-transmitting cover film, roof insulation cover, etc. The construction of a greenhouse with a length of 100 meters generally only takes 7-10 days.

System support, precise environmental control and efficient operation: The new flexible solar greenhouse adopts an electric rolling film ventilation system, which achieves ventilation and dehumidification through automatic rolling and unfolding, making the operation process time-saving and efficient, and providing ideal growth conditions for plants.

The new flexible solar greenhouse actively improves

The certified additives thus contribute to sustainable development by saving fossil resources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and advancing the use of renewable feedstock.

BASF has announced the launch of the industry’s first biomass balance offerings for plastic additives. The initial offerings, including Irganox® 1010 BMBcert™ and Irganox® 1076 FD BMBcert™, are certified by TÜV Nord for mass balance according to the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC PLUS). These industry-first solutions support the use of renewable feedstock to replace fossil feedstock and help BASF’s customers meet their sustainability targets.

The BMBcert offerings contribute to a reduction in fossil feedstock demand. At the beginning of the value chain, fossil-based raw material is replaced by ISCC certified bio-based feedstock, and a corresponding amount is attributed to the product according to a mass balance approach. Via the attribution of these sustainably sourced renewable feedstocks, the product’s cradle-to-gate carbon footprint is significantly reduced by up to 60 percent, compared to the global average product carbon footprint of conventional grades.

The certified additives thus contribute to sustainable development by saving fossil resources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and advancing the use of renewable feedstock. This unique solution enables customers to differentiate their products from the competition and helps them achieve their sustainability goals; all without compromising on performance and quality.

Irganox® 1010 BMBcert™ and Irganox 1076 FD BMBcert are drop-in replacements for Irganox 1010 and Irganox 1076. These BMBcert offerings are identical to the conventional grades in performance, quality, and product stewardship and regulatory aspects. As a result, customers do not need to requalify the new additives or reformulate their products.

“By leveraging BASF’s highly integrated global production network of interconnected sites and plants, we are able to produce these industry-first, low carbon footprint, drop-in solutions with the same performance characteristics,” said Joerg Bentlage, Head of Global Product Management, Plastic Additives, BASF. “As we advance our own journey to a more circular economy, we aim to drive a sustainable transformation towards renewable feedstock within the industries we serve through innovative and strategic customer partnerships.”

Irganox 1010 BMBcert and Irganox 1076 FD BMBcert will initially be produced at BASF’s site in Kaisten, Switzerland, with additional availability of Irganox 1010 FF BMBcert and Irganox 1076 FD BMBcert from McIntosh, USA in early 2024.

The certified additives thus contribute to sustainable

Samuel Praveen Kumar, Joint Secretary (Extension), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare was addressing the knowledge sharing session ‘Harnessing Agriculture’s Potential- 2035’, organised by FICCI.

Samuel Praveen Kumar, Joint Secretary (Extension), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Govt of India said that it is imperative to adopt technology and create infrastructure to build a resilient agriculture sector in India.

Addressing the knowledge sharing session ‘Harnessing Agriculture’s Potential- 2035’, organised by FICCI, Kumar stated that earlier the government had a production centric approach in the agriculture sector but now we focus on the entire value chain. Every country across the world is embracing newer technology, following innovative ways to build a strong agriculture value chain. “By adopting these measures along with the collective efforts of all stakeholders, we can make Indian agriculture sector more robust, resilient, climate smart to match the global standards,” he added.

To promote infrastructure in the agriculture sector, Kumar said that the government introduced agriculture infrastructure fund scheme. “Till date, close to Rs 30,000 crore has been disbursed for these projects and this in turn has brought in investments around Rs 50,500 crore. This is going to change the landscape of the agriculture sector in the country as it is through infrastructure only that we can address the other inefficiencies in the supply chain,” he added.

Sanjiv Kanwar, Managing Director, YARA South Asia said, “The agri-channels who have been in this space for over 50 years are the original start-ups of Indian agriculture- they believed in the future of Indian agriculture and committed themselves to making India self-sufficient by serving farmers with right agri inputs and technology support. Channel partners must be recognized for providing the last-mile connectivity from lab to land.”

Siraj Hussain, Advisor, FICCI and Former Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Govt of India said, “FICCI is thrilled to have partnered with Yara India for this knowledge-sharing event, ‘Harnessing Agriculture’s Potential – 2035’. This partnership opens doors to explore needs of input dealers and channel partners.”

Ajai Rana, CEO, Savannah Seeds Pvt Ltd said that we can improve our farm production by utilizing high-quality seeds, proper crop nutrition, and efficient mechanization in the farming process.

Kaushal Jaiswal, Co-Chairman, FICCI National Agriculture Committee and MD, Rivulis Irrigation India Pvt Ltd said with so much potential in the agriculture sector, it becomes imperative that the Agri channel partners are suitably identified, supported and handheld so as to mainstream them for the long run. 

Deepak Verma, Domain Lead- Agriculture, ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) said that ONDC brings all technology providers on one platform to provide unified solutions to the end user.

Arvind Chaudhary, Director General, Fertilizer Association of India said that there is a need to create awareness about balance use of fertilizers in farming.

Samuel Praveen Kumar, Joint Secretary (Extension), Ministry

This investment from Lok Capital aligns with the company’s vision to reach more underserved areas and offer financial inclusion opportunities to a broader audience

Seeds Fincap Pvt. Ltd., an MSME-focused financial institution with a presence in six states through a network of 72 branches, has raised its Series A1 round funding from Lok Capital. The investment will be used as growth capital by the company to accelerate expansion in existing and new geographies in the upcoming fiscal year.

Lok Capital has committed to invest INR 500 million in Series A, of which the first tranche of INR 320 million has been closed. Bolstering its capabilities and laying the foundation for transformative growth, this financial boost not only strengthens SEEDS’s financial prowess but also stands as a resounding endorsement of the institution’s unwavering dedication to promoting financial growth.

Seeds Fincap was founded by Subhash Acharya and Avishek Sarkar in 2021 with the objective of meeting the financial needs of small businesses with customised products with a clear focus on risk management and leveraging technology. With Assets Under Management (AUM) of INR 212 crore, Seeds Fincap has over 700 employees and an impressive track record of facilitating over 40,000 disbursements totalling INR 340 crore.

Seeds Fincap Pvt. Ltd.’s strategic expansion plan includes entering new geographies while simultaneously expanding its footprint in existing states. This investment from Lok Capital aligns with the company’s vision to reach more underserved areas and offer financial inclusion opportunities to a broader audience.

Subhash Chandra Acharya, MD and CEO of Seeds Fincap Pvt. Ltd. commented on this milestone, “With the support of Lok Capital, Seeds Fincap Pvt. Ltd. is gearing up for an exciting phase of growth and empowerment. We are thrilled to embark on this exciting phase of growth and expansion. The Series A funding is a testament to our dedication to empowering MSMEs and fostering economic development at the grassroots level Seeds Fincap Pvt. Ltd.’s accomplishment in securing Series A funding marks a pivotal juncture in its journey to redefine financial empowerment in India.”

Vishal Mehta, Founder and Partner at Lok Capital noted, “We have been impressed by Seeds’ systems-driven approach, leveraging technology, hands-on operational management, and a strong focus on credit and risk. This aligns with our approach to investments in the financial services domain, and we look forward to working with the team as they expand into underserved geographies in north and central India.”

This investment from Lok Capital aligns with

The Pyroxasulfone market is worth over 450 crore in India, and BAL plans to achieve 300-350 crore of the Proxysulfone market in the next three years

Best Agrolife Ltd. (BAL), announced that it has inked an agreement with Syngenta for the marketing of Pyroxosulfone 85 per cent WG herbicide under the brand name Movondo. 

Pyroxasulfone is a pre-emergence herbicide for wheat, corn, and soybean that ensures increased yields while offering outstanding crop safety by eliminating weeds that pose a threat to these crops. It is more effective against broadleaf weeds and requires fewer applications than other commercial herbicides. Pyroxasulfone 85 per cent WG controls the primary troublesome weed in wheat, Phalaris minor.

Syngenta is a global leader in crop protection and seeds, with a significant global share of the herbicide and commercial seed markets. This agreement will help both companies maximise the value of the new herbicide and efficiently establish a market for the product. The Pyroxasulfone market is worth over 450 crore, and BAL plans to achieve 300-350 crore of the Proxysulfone market in the next three years.

Previously, India imported Pyroxasulfone from foreign nations, but after gaining registration for the local manufacturing of Pyroxasulfone 85 per cent WG. BAL has become the first Indian agrochemical business to manufacture Pyroxasulfone 85 per cent WG locally. Seedlings India Pvt. Ltd., one of the wholly owned subsidiaries of BAL, will produce it under the Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.  What truly distinguishes this deal as a groundbreaking development, showcasing the substantial influence of the ‘Make In India’ initiative on the global stage, is the unprecedented reversal of the conventional supply chain dynamics. Prior to this, multinational corporations had typically supplied key chemical compounds to Indian agrochemical companies. However, this deal marks a pivotal shift, as it signifies the first instance of Indian agrochemical companies taking the lead by exporting these molecules to their multinational counterparts.

The Pyroxasulfone market is worth over 450

Researchers of International Rice Genebank (IRG) aim to apply a combination of AI and high-throughput phenotyping methodologies to assess the IRG rice collection’s tolerance to abiotic stresses.

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is receiving 2 million USD in grant funding from Google’s philanthropic arm,, to harness the power of Artificial intelligence (AI) towards fast-tracking the development and deployment of high-yielding, climate-resilient rice varieties to sustain and increase rice production in the face of climate change.

Google’s philanthropic arm,, has set up this competitive grant to harness the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Through this grant, the researchers from IRRI’s Fit-for-Future Genetic Resources unit that steward the International Rice Genebank (IRG) aim to apply a combination of AI and high-throughput phenotyping methodologies to assess the IRG rice collection’s tolerance to abiotic stresses such as flooding, drought, and salinity – making a laborious, costly, and time-consuming process more efficient. This will also promote the enhanced utilization of the genebank’s resources.

“IRRI’s genebank is the world’s largest rice gene bank and holds, in trust, over 132,000 varieties originating from 132 countries. This rich resource is used for breeding to develop new and better rice varieties. At present, only five percent of this resource is used due to limited information on its collections, as we lack appropriate, cost-effective, and high-throughput phenotyping methodologies. AI will undoubtedly unlock the genebank’s full potential in helping address these critical food security challenges,” said IRG Head, Dr. Venuprasad Ramaiah.’s AI for the Global Goals Impact Challenge is part of Google’s company-wide commitment to help accelerate progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. IRRI is one of 15 organizations receiving support through the $25 million philanthropy challenge for projects that use AI to accelerate progress towards these goals. Out of many submitted proposals, 15 were selected for funding. Importantly, all of the projects will be open-sourced so other organizations can build upon the work.

“Each of the 15 selected organizations share our vision for using AI to accelerate progress on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and each organization brings their own expertise to help move the needle,” said James Manyika, Google’s SVP of Research, Technology & Society. “We are inspired by the possibilities they see for how AI can be harnessed to help people solve societal problems, and are excited about the collective impact they will have over the next three years.”

Based on projections, the IRRI team foresees economic returns of at least 30 billion USD from the project’s implementation after five years from release. The project also presents an opportunity for the capacity strengthening of national research institutions’ staff, which will bring further long term benefits.

“The project is expected to bring a significant impact on food security and biodiversity conservation while promoting social, nutritional, gender, equity, and entrepreneurship benefits, and building the resilience of rice-growing and consuming countries to climate change. We thank Google for their support in this meaningful initiative,” said IRRI Interim Director General, Dr. Ajay Kohli.

Researchers of International Rice Genebank (IRG) aim