BASF's fifth global agricultural research station opened in Pune

BASF today said it has opened a new agricultural research station in LoniKand, Pune. This new research and development centre will focus on global agricultural research on herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides, as well as on solutions that go beyond classical crop protection.

With agricultural research stations in different parts of the world, BASF conducts trials all year around, under different climate and agricultural conditions in order to get a better understanding of how its products perform in the field.

Pune will become BASF's fifth agricultural research station, in addition to those already in Brazil, the US, Spain, Germany, and the Philippines.

In addition to conducting research in areas of global agricultural requirements, the centre at Pune will also investigate scenarios that are unique to India that could include challenges such as India's specific weeds and pests, as well as climate stresses, like drought, flood cycles, and heat stress.

BASF said in a statement, "Through its extensive research efforts, the R&D center aims to help farmers make better decisions and improve productivity during the entire cultivation cycle."

Raman Ramachandran, chairman and managing director, BASF India Ltd. and head of BASF South Asia, said ''Raising agriculture productivity to meet the increasing demand for quality and quantity of food, is one of the most important challenges facing our country.

"By setting up a new R&D centre in India, BASF aims to actively look into both local and global topics and develop effective and sustainable solutions to help farmers to solve their challenges and improve food output to feed the growing population in India."

Pune was selected as the site for the research center because of its location in the southern Indian climate zone.

"The close proximity to local universities and research institutions makes it possible to generate synergies and promote collaboration in order to build a strong ecosystem that can further boost the agricultural sector," the statement added.

BASF said the center would contribute to tailor-made solutions for India's agriculture while moving towards its strategic goal to innovate from Asia Pacific, for Asia Pacific and the world.

Markus Heldt, president of BASF's crop protection division, said ''Our role is to partner with farmers and to work with them to protect the land they hold in trust for future generations and to meet the evolving expectations of society. "

The facility will employ directly and indirectly 30 people, including biologists, farm managers, and workers.

Heldt, said, "The team in India will contribute to these goals by driving the development of new active ingredients, new formulations, and technologies."

In 2014, BASF announced breaking ground of its Innovation Campus in Mumbai via BASF Chemicals India Private Limited, a 100 per cent subsidiary of BASF SE, which also researches in the area of crop protection with Indian talents and local expertise.

Both the Innovation Campus and the new Agricultural Research Station are integral components of BASF' global innovation network.

The two R&D facilities will share intelligence and research findings, and generate synergies while developing new crop protection solutions.

BASF spends over  €500 million annually on global agricultural R&D showing its commitment to bring sustainable solutions to the agricultural market.

With sales of over  €5.4 billion in 2014, BASF's Crop Protection division provides solutions in crop protection, seed treatment and biological control as well as innovations to manage nutrients and plant stress. Its portfolio also includes products for turf and ornamental plants, pest control and public health.