FMCG major Ruchi Soya today entered into a R&D joint venture with Canada's D J Hendrick International Inc and Japan's KMDI International to develop healthy non-genetically modified soybean.
"With this joint venture we are planning for research and development (R&D), produce, market and distribute high yielding non genetically modified soybean seeds with higher oil percentage and nutritional value," Ruchi Soya Industries Founder and Managing Director Dinesh Shahra told reporters here after signing the JV.
The joint venture will help the company enter into the seed business, he said.
The total investment for the venture will be Rs 18 crore spread over four years with Ruchi Soya holding majority stake of 55 per cent, while D J Hendrick International Inc will hold 35 per cent and the rest 10 per cent will be with KMDI International, he added.
In the joint venture, Ruchi Soya will provide the infrastructure, R&D centre, while D J Hendrick International will provide germ plasm, technology and breeders.
KMDI International will help in marketing and distribution once the variety is developed and is ready for commercial production.
"We hope to develop at least one variety by 2015-16," Shahra said.
India is the world's fifth largest producer of soybeans in the world, producing approximately 12 million tonne annually, of which we get 1.8 million tonne soybean oil and eight million tonne soybean meal.
However, the country's productivity of just 1.017 tonne of soybean per hectare is less than half of the global average of 2.5 tonne per hectare.