Thursday, February 16, 2012

No. 18: Japanese nursery companies strengthen their efforts to develop foreign markets (February 17, 2012)

Business trend
Japanese leading nursery companies are strengthening their efforts substantially to develop the market in Central and West Asian. Sakata Seed will establish a local company in Turkey coming April to market such seeds as tomato, watermelon, and cabbage to local producers directly or through local companies. All the seeds the company tries to market are F1 seeds that allow for uniform growth and stable yields. Because F1 seeds are for one generation only, continuous demand for long periods can be expected. F1 is higher in price than true bred, but its ability to realize high productivity will surely benefit local producers.

The company is now active in Serbia and Uzbekistan, and will set up a local base in Ukraine within the year to market cabbage and broccoli seeds characterized by excellent storage quality in Ukraine and its neighboring countries. It plans to increase sales in Central Asia, East Europe, and Russia to 1,200 million yen in 2015. Takii, another leading nursery company, is also exerting energy to develop the market in the Middle East and Africa. Tokita Seed, in which Kirin Holdings invested, has been active in India that produces seven times more vegetables than Japan for the past 10 years and enjoying a big share in carrot seeds.

Japanese annual vegetable production is about 13 million tons. The Japanese seed market will not grow as it did before because of decreasing population and aging society. In addition, the competition with such large companies as Monsanto is intensifying. Developing foreign markets is the best strategy alternative for nursery companies. Surely, offense is the best defense.