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Bisi operates a vertically integrated seed production process from breeder seed to commercial seed. This allows us to ensure the highest quality throughout each stage of production. In addition, the company supplies pesticides and fertilizers to both our internal vertically integrated operations as well as supplying commercial crop farmers.
Hybrid seeds are the first generation offspring of two distant and distinct parental lines of the same species. Producing high yielding hybrids on a large scale requires scientific, technological, and operational expertise at every level of the vertically integrated operations. The process commences with high quality breeder seed. For hybrid corn, the breeder seed is produced in cooperation with Monsanto, a global leader in the seed industry. However, for our riceand most of our horticulture seeds, the respective breeder seeds are produced in BISI’s nationwide research and development facilities.
The breeder seeds are produced from naturally out-breeding crops, from which inbred lines are produced by repeated self-pollination over seven generations. Once all the inbreeding is completed, the resulting seeds are crossed and tested to assess yield potential. Seed varieties deemed commercially viable are selected as breeder seeds. As the quantity of these seeds is fairly limited, we breed them repeatedly to increase the quantity, at which point the seeds are referred to as foundation seed.
The established inbred lines, foundation seeds, are crossed through a selective breeding program to produce first generations (F1) hybrid seeds. To accomplish the crossing of the foundation seed to produce the commercial seed, BISI uses a contract farming program. In 2007, this program extended over 12,000 hectares of land, utilizing approximately 40,000 farmers. We give the contract farmers the foundation seed and provide them with training, support and monitoring. The farmers are under a contractual obligation to sell back their crop to BISI. The crop is brought to our processing facilities where the seeds are removed from the cob/husk/fruit/vegetable, put through a two stage drying process, coated with pesticide, and then packaged and distributed to our customers. These hybrid seeds produce uniform plants which benefit from the effect described as heterosis or hybrid vigor. Heterosis results in a large increase in yield over the inbred lines or comparable lines that are out-crossing.
In 2007, 70% of our vegetable seeds were produced by the company, while 30% of the seeds were imported from Thailand and China. The majority of the imported vegetable seeds from Thailand are imported from Chia Tai Seed Co. Ltd., an affiliate of the Company.
Vegetable seeds produced by the Company include: chili, cucumber, eggplant, tomato, pumpkin, cabbage, china-cabbage, “paria”, water spinach, long bean, spinach, honeydew, and watermelon among others.
The Company has production facilities located in Desa Sumber Agung, Kecamatan Ploso-Klaten, Kabupaten Kediri, with a production capacity for hybrid corn seeds of 19,000 metric tons, hybrid rice seeds of 1,000 metric tons, and vegetable seeds of 3,000 metric tons per year.