Providing smallholder farmers with opportunities to increase yields, to access better inputs and to adopt adequate farming practices is critical to helping improve productivity and incomes—and key to pulling rural communities out of poverty. Mahyco is one of India’s leading hybrid seed producers and was the first to introduce hybrid seeds in pearl millet, sorghum, sunflower, wheat and for several vegetable crops in India. Mahyco was also the first company in India to commercialize Bt cotton, a genetically modified crop with inbuilt protection against certain pests that has helped boost cotton production in India and around the world.
The IFC and GAFSP investment in Mahyco International, a subsidiary of Mahyco Private Limited, will fund the expansion of the company’s cotton and rice seed business in Sub-Saharan Africa, Bangladesh and Southeast Asia. The project will introduce high-yielding, disease and climate-resistant seeds, and is expected to result in higher productivity and farmer incomes across multiple IDA countries. IFC expects the project to reach more than 120,000 smallholder farmers, who will be involved as contract farmers in Mahyco’s supply chain to produce hybrid seeds. Farmers will also be provided technical training on planting, nutrition, pest management, seed production methods, and quality assurance.