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Mysore-based firm to supply bio-crude to Britain
     Thursday August 4, 2005 - Business Standard 

Mysore-based Labland Biotechs, a 10-year old company has firmed up two long-term contracts with a UK-based firm for the supply of tissue cultured jatropha plants and jatropha seed-derived crude oil respectively.

A global Player in the field of plant biotechnology, Labland has its customer base in India, Australia, UK, France, Spain, Israel, Korea and Canada. 

The green house of Labland Biotechs

It is involved in Micro-propagation of exotic ornamental plants, Plantation crops, forest tree crops and medicinal plants. Presently, it is diversifying its operations into the area of bio-diesel.

Under the long-term contract with UK-based global firm, D1 Oils, Labland will supply one crore jatropha plants produced through tissue culture every year for the next 10 years for global distribution. It will also supply 10,000-50,000 tonnes of jatropha crude oil every year for the next 15 years. The British company will refine the crude and make it available globally as bio-diesel.

To meet the contractual obligations, the plant technology is roping in farmers from different parts of Karnataka as well as from the neighboring states under its contract-farming programme.

With this, Labland proposes to add 65,000 acres of in the state every year for the next five years for jatropha cultivation, taking the total area under its cultivation to 3.25 lakh acres by 2010.

Recently, team of officials from Uttar Pradesh led by the secretary for science and technology visited Labland to explore the possibilities of a collaborative venture for the contract cultivation of jatropha.

Labland, whose R&D unit is recognised by the Ministry of Science and Technology Government of India, has also tied up with Australian customers for region-specific requirements relating to yacca palnts. Two companies have identified it as the sourcing company from India. Ornamental plants and foliages being its chief exports, Labland presently exports aloe vera plants to Australia. "It is a tough job to export palnts to Australia, Which has stricter norms, Our exports, hence, is a recognition of our capability. It is a feather in out cap," says Labland founder and managing director Sudheer A Shetty.

Speaking to Business Standard he said, his company is looking for a tie-up with Railways, apart from local customers, for the supply of bio-diesel. Discussion channels have been opened with IOC and Railways.

Labland has an annual turnover of Rs 1.6 crore from its three units, all based in Mysore.

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