Secundrabad-based Kaveri Seeds Company Ltd (KSCL) will continue to focus on education and farmer welfare as a part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR), company’s Executive Director Mithun Chand told India CSR in an exclusive interview.
The company is planning to spend over INR 35 million in various CSR activities by the end of 2019-20 (Apr-Mar), Chand said adding that the amount will be over and above of what is prescribed for it as per the Indian Companies Act.
The Companies Act 2013 prescribes 17 areas of CSR activity including education and agriculture in Schedule VII of the act. Section 135 of the Act lays down rules for CSR activity in India. The policy which became effective from 1 April 2014, mandates those companies for CSR activity which have net worth of INR 5 billion or more; or turnover of INR 10 billion or more; or net profit of INR 50 million or more during any financial year.
The companies are required to spend at least 2% of the amount of the net profit for the last 3 financial years.
KSCL has built three schools – one in Gatla Narsingapur with over 700 students, Chand said. The company is also giving aid to around 50 schools in the form of books, uniforms and meals, apart from scholarships to students who wish to pursue higher studies, he added.
KSCL is one of the leading seed suppliers in the country and claims to be the dominant player for the supply of cotton, maize, millets, vegetables, rice and hybrid seeds across several categories.
The company has more than 65,000 acres under seed production. It has its own warehouses and packaging facilities and invested around INR 200 million rupees to build a cob drying facility – the first of its kind and the largest in Asia. The company has a network of over 35,000 dealers.
Another focus area for KSCL is agriculture. Chand said that the company was also mindful of water shortages and was working with the farmers on water conservation and rain harvesting. The company has worked with the Telangana Government to restore minor irrigation tanks and lakes in the state of Telangana.
The de-silting of tanks under the ‘Kakatiya Mission’ has improved irrigation helping farmers in GatlaNarsingapur to sow multiple crops in a year, from just one, earlier, Chand said. KSCL donated INR 20 million for the de-silting mission, he added.
The farmers are also producing their own maize and rice seeds, having benefitted from our ‘self-seed production’ programme, Chand said.
As part of its community development initiatives, KSCL has constructed a mineral water plant to give clean water to the villagers apart from building roads, toilets and INR 8 million in donation for building a community hall.
Kaveri claims to accounts for 8%-10% of the market share in the estimated INR 150 billion organised hybrid seed business. Kaveri Seeds plans to up the revenues in non-cotton segments vis-à-vis rice, maize and vegetable seeds, eyeing at least 20-25% increase its top lines over the next three-five years.
The company also claims to have a leadership position in cotton production in Gujarat and is gradually growing its presence in Maharashtra. It is also eyeing markets like Punjab, Chandigarh and Rajasthan by the end of this financial year.
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