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Advanta Seeds bags two Innovation Awards

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) recognized Advanta for its innovation excellence in two categories.

  1. Top 25 Innovative Companies of 2019
  2. Top Innovative Company (Special Category) in Manufacturing Agri Products

Advanta’s Okra Assurance Scheme was commended as an innovative solution dedicated to enhancing farmer prosperity. Through the Okra Assurance Scheme, Advanta offers smallholder farmers seed assurance against yellow vein mosaic virus and okra leaf curl virus on its Jaani hybrid, at no extra cost. The scheme is the first of its kind as other insurance schemes only protect against weather anomalies. Seeds represent the most critical investment for farmers. Guaranteeing a virus-free crop, especially during the critical early growth stages, gained immense popularity amongst okra farmers propelling Advanta to become the number one okra seed player in India.

The Innovation Award recognition reaffirms Advanta’s vision to sustainably serve farmers with high-quality seeds technology and innovative agriculture solutions. Innovation, a core pillar of Advanta, has been instrumental in delivering in-house new products and technology to address farmer’s needs amidst climate change and fast-changing consumer demands. Through this cross-functional approach, Advanta is driving innovation and synergy across its functions and riding on a steady growth curve. To ensure Advanta’s value-added products maximize its outreach to small and marginal farmers, innovative marketing campaigns with value-added services has become an integral business process. The Industrial Innovation Award is a boost to the Advanta team to further drive and manage innovation across the organization.

The CII Industrial Innovation Awards were instituted in 2014 to identify and celebrate innovative Indian enterprises across industry segments and sectors. In the last five years, these awards have established themselves as one of the most coveted innovation awards in the country. The awards evaluate new processes, products, services, technologies, and other innovations that can fuel growth in the industry. They also assess new ideas and approaches along with tangible results.

The Award ceremony was hosted by CII, the apex industry body, at the Indian R&D Ecosystem Conclave, New Delhi on Dec 18, 2019. Eminent dignitaries, namely Mr. Ratan P Watal, Member Secretary, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, GoI; Prof. K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the GoI; and Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan, Past President, CII, Chairman, CII National Start-up Council, and CII AI forum; presented the Awards to the Innovation Champions.

Advanta expects igrowth™ to reshape global sorghum cultivation.

UPL seed business Advanta Seeds has big plans for its non-genetically modified imidazolinone herbicide tolerance sorghum trait, igrowth™.

The “first in the world” commercial weed control technology for sorghum grain was developed using mutagenesis by the company’s Argentine research team. “Since then it has been developed and tested in various environments for performance and yield,” points out Advanta’s global strategic marketing and sales excellence manager, Benjamin Marolda.

Advanta launched igrowth™ sorghum in Argentina in 2017 and in Australia in 2018. “The technology is currently being introduced to many big sorghum regions such as the US, Mexico, Brazil, and South American countries as well as some of the eastern European regions to help boost their environmental opportunities,” says Advanta’s chief executive officer, Bhupen Dubey.

Mr. Dubey expects to launch the technology in the US and Mexico in 2020, subject to regulatory clearances. It is currently being commercialized in Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay. “South Africa, Russia, and other sorghum areas are under evaluation,” he says.

The company says that igrowth™ is reshaping the sorghum area globally as it has given the crop competitiveness that it never had in the past. “We are not limited to actual sorghum area, nor only grain as this technology was released in grain sorghum, but we are releasing it also for forages” Mr. Dubey points out. As climate change continues to impact agriculture, sorghum is expanding as one of the most efficient water-using crops, he adds.

When asked if the controversy surrounding new breeding techniques in the EU is likely to cast a shadow on products such as igrowth™, Mr. Dubey remains optimistic. “Our technology is not threatened by this gene-editing debate between regulatory agencies as it was developed with traditional mutagenesis techniques,” he says.

In 2018, the European Court of Justice said that new mutagenesis techniques for plant breeding were subject to EU laws on genetically modified organisms. However, the European Commission subsequently said that it neither had plans to amend existing rules nor to propose new legislation in response to the ruling. Meanwhile, EU Ministers have called on the Commission to produce a study on the legal status of “novel genomic techniques” in plant breeding, as the debate continues.

Overcoming weed resistance

For farmers growing a traditional sorghum crop not tolerant to herbicides, some grasses and broadleaf weeds can be controlled with atrazine as a pre-emergence treatment or broadleaf selective herbicides with authorized label extension for the crop, such as 2,4-D, Advanta says. In some geographies such as the US, Argentina, and Australia, the only option for selective grass control is treating the seed with a safener to be able to spray metolachlor or S-metolachlor as a pre-emergent herbicide.

“igrowth™ opens the possibility of spraying over the top for grass control for the first time in sorghum crops,” says Mr. Marolda. “We recommend igrowth™ weed control to keep many of these active ingredients and crop rotations as we want to minimize the weed resistance appearance due to excess usage of a single weed control mode of action,” he adds.

Disclaimer

Advanta Seeds and its subsidiaries have made every attempt to ensure accuracy of the information provided on this website. However, this is a global webpage with access to different geographies for wider reach and greater awareness of Advanta Seeds. In the course of doing the same, Advanta Seeds has used a Wordpress multilingual translator plugin to convert the language of this website from English to select regional languages.

Advanta therefore, does not accept any responsibility or liability on the nature, standard or the accuracy of the translation and cannot take responsibility for any type of inaccurate contextual meaning in the event of a mismatch from English to a regional language.