INDIAN SEED FIRM PLANS TO INCREASE PH INVESTMENT The investment of Prasad Seeds, an India-based agriculture firm, in the Philippines could rise to more than a billion after signifying that it might invest an additional P678 million to expand its recently opened P450-million corn facility in Pangasinan.
Prasad Seeds, through its recently established local unit Prasad Seeds Philippines, Inc., has kicked off its global expansion here in the Philippines on Wednesday with the opening of its corn seed processing facility here.
The plant, which cost around US$10 million or approximately P450 million, is a five-hectare facility located in Barangay Salvacion, Rosales, Pangasinan, near the boundary of Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija.
Former agriculture Secretary William Dar, who now serves as Prasad adviser for global expansion, said that this early, the company is already planning to invest another USD15 million or around P678 million to expand the corn facility.
Prasad will serve as the exclusive partner of Syngenta Philippines, providing the latter with tolling services, ranging from corn drying, shelling, treating, conditioning and packaging, including fumigation, warehousing and cold storage.
With the planned expansion in 2016, Prasad Seeds Philippines could already serve other global seeds companies, and farmers’ cooperatives that will engage in hybrid corn and hybrid rice seed production.
Agriculture assistant secretary Edilberto de Luna said the entry of Prasad into the country’s seed industry will further encourage farmers to use quality processed seeds for higher productivity and income. To date, corn production, particularly yellow corn for poultry and livestock feed, has been increasing for the past five years and it is being aimed to produce an average of eight to 10 tons of hybrid corn per hectare.
Noel Borlongan of Syngenta Philippines said to date hybrid corn is planted to about 800,000 hectares, or one-third of total corn area in the country.Syngenta is among the country’s leading seed producers, partly providing an estimated requirement of 14.4 million kilos of hybrid corn seeds every planting season. Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, said with the opening of the facility, the Philippines is now poised to take a major role as the corn hub in Southeast Asia. “This state-of-the-art facility provides a big boost in the country’s corn self-sufficiency goal, with the availability of quality processed hybrid seeds,” Villar said.”I believe technological innovation, as demonstrated by Prasad Seeds, can propel Philippine agriculture to greater heights and the Philippines as a leader in corn production in South East Asia in the near future,” she added. For his part, company chairman and managing director Karumanchi Prasad said the company plans to transform Pangasinan as the seed capital of the Philippines, citing their experience in India where it took its roots and propelled Telangana into becoming the seed capital of India. CONGRATULATIONS.