Mahindra HZPC, a 60:40 joint venture between India’s Mahindra Agri Solutions Limited (MASL) and Netherlands-headquartered potato breeder HZPC, unveiled a new state-of-the-art aeroponics seed potato facility in Mohali, India, last week (4 November).
The new facility is designed to produce best-in-class seed potatoes for Indian farmers and in turn consumers, using the latest aeroponics technology, whereby plants are grown suspended in a mist environment without the use of soil.
The facility was inaugurated by Alphonsus Stoelinga, the Honourable Ambassador of the Netherlands in the presence of Ashok Sharma, MD & CEO, MASL, Vikram Puri, director Mahindra HZPC & exec VP MASL, Gerard Backx, CEO, HZPC Holding BV and Herman Verveld commercial director HZPC Holding BV.
Speaking at the inauguration of the facility, Sharma said: “As pioneers of farming technology in India, Mahindra is committed towards building disruptive innovations that bring significant benefits for our farmer community as well as end consumers. Aeroponics is one such example – it will drastically change the landscape of agriculture by providing world-class seeds to our farmers which will lead to higher productivity and increased cultivation, in line with our vision of Delivering FarmTech Prosperity. Consumers too will feel the advantage as they will be able to experience more and differentiated choices in food, a proposition that Mahindra very strongly believes in.”
Built to support the company’s seeds potato business, the aeroponics facility will grow plants suspended in a closed environment. Plants are nourished by spraying atomized nutrient-rich water to the suspended roots and lower stems.
This method gives rise to virus-free world-class seed potatoes, which will increase farmer productivity by 10-30 per cent, and will reduce the time to market for new varieties by 50 per cent, MHZPC said in a press release.
Mahindra HZPC’s aeroponics facility has the capacity to generate 3m minitubers, and the first production batch is slated to be out in January 2017.
Mahindra HZPC plans to launch six new potato varieties, half of which will cater to end-consumers and the remaining will be targeted at the processing sector.
Mahindra HZPC owns another facility in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh; which together with the new aeroponics facility is capable of generating 15m minitubers within a couple of years.
Mahindra HZPC aims to bring new varieties of potato to India. HZPC is an innovative world leader in potato breeding and seed potato trade.