Rallis India sells seeds, pesticides and other seed treatment chemicals both domestically in India as well as internationally. The company constitutes the agricultural input unit of its parent company, Tata Chemicals. In 2010, Rallis India acquired Metahelix Life Sciences, a company specializing in research and marketing seeds under the Dhaanya brand. Rallis India markets hybrid seeds of field crops and vegetables.
Extension services The company launched the Samrudh Krishi (SK) initiative in 2011, an agronomic advisory programme which provides smallholder farmers with training and crop advisory services. Through the programme, Rallis agricultural staff provide Indian farmers with customised recommendations on crop protection and pest control and advice on how to increase productivity and yield. These services are provided during field visits, farmer meetings and seminars in rural areas such as Gujarat, Rajasthan, Odisha and Chhattisgarh, covering around 1,000 villages across the country.
Information and communications technology (ICT) Through its Rallis Samrudh Krishi (RSK) programme, the company provides agronomic advisory services to smallholder farmers in India, which include weather-related information. This digital platform also provides smallholders with a query service, where farmers can post their questions and obtain personalised answers. The application is available both on desktop and as a mobile tool.
Stakeholder engagement Rallis India engages with various stakeholders on a range of topics across the measurement areas of genetic resources and IP management, seed production and marketing and sales. For example, the company raises issues of IP protection with customers and partners, discusses seed production and quality with growers and discusses regulatory compliance with governmental and regulatory organisations. The company has an opportunity to disclose how it identifies its most relevant stakeholders.
The company provides limited insight into its position and activities related to genetic resources and intellectual property management. As it is important that seed companies contribute to genetic resources and intellectual property management that supports smallholder agriculture, the company could provide more insights into its activities for others to learn from.
Plant breeding activities in index region and breeding programme for specific traits The company has its own breeding programme in India and develops hybrid varieties of global field crops and vegetables including rice, maize, tomato, okra and hot pepper. The company breeds for resistance and tolerance to biotic stress, but it could disclose more specific information on the crops in its breeding programme and whether it focuses on developing traits particularly useful to smallholder farmers beyond this.
Local participation in breeding/variety development The company does not disclose whether it uses feedback from local consumers, traders and smallholder farmers to inform its breeding programme.
Seed production activities in index region The company has seed production activities in India, through its majority stake in the Bangalore-based seeds research firm Metahelix Life Sciences. However, it does not provide information on whether it engages with local players in its seed production activities.
Quality management in seed production in index countries Rallis India has an ISO 9001 certification which covers its seed production, but has an opportunity to specify the percentage of its seed production covered by this certification.
Social and labour rights in seed production The company discloses it does not employ children or forced labour, and it tracks the number of complaints relating to these in its parent company’s (Tata Chemicals) annual report and sustainability report. However, the company does not have a monitoring system in place to track how child labour and forced labour are monitored across its seed production activities when these activities are carried out by intermediaries. The company outlines its health and safety standards in its environment, health and safety policy, and tracks major incidents on a regular basis, but it does not disclose how intermediaries monitor these standards when they carry out seed production. Furthermore, the company does not disclose whether it pays its workers a living wage or requires its intermediaries to do so.
Quality and safety of varieties Rallis India adheres to national regulations for the registration of new varieties in India. However, the company could disclose whether it adheres to internationally accepted best practices for safeguarding the quality and safety of seeds.
Other agricultural inputs Rallis India makes seed treatment chemicals, pesticides and plant growth nutrients available to smallholder farmers. The company offers these inputs in quantities appropriate for the needs of smallholder farmers. The company has an opportunity to disclose whether it promotes the sustainable use of other agricultural inputs through offering usage instructions on product packaging.