NEW DELHI — The government of India honored Abhay Cotex Private Limited (“ACPL” or “The Company”), an agribusiness firm and one of Small Enterprise Assistance Funds‘ (SEAF) investments, for its innovative technique of cottonseed oil processing and extraction this winter.
The Minister of Agriculture & Food Processing Industries highlighted ACPL as one of 100 Indian “Profiles of Agricultural Innovation,” distinguished by “the ability of farmers and entrepreneurs to successfully overcome the many constraints facing the sector,” according to the report.
ACPL was hailed for its excellent cottonseed oil-extraction process in addition to its utilization of by-products. “Apart from a superior process which is much cheaper than its competitors, the by products of this process are also very superior, and have good market of their own,” the report said.
The Company’s processing method saves roughly 90% of the water and energy used in conventional technology, in addition to producing marketable by-products. One of those by-products is a high-protein de-oiled cake (DOC) for cattle feed, which has been found to increas productivity in dairy cows by 20 percent. ACPL also preserves the cotton hulls after oil-extraction to sell to mushroom producers around the world, to use in fertilization.
In addition to earning the distinction of the report, ACPL has also received the Young Achievers Award, won Mega Project Status from the state government of Maharashtra, and has been acknowledged for good manufacturing practices by the Indian food certification services.
Since July 2011, SEAF has invested USD 5.8 million in the cottonseed oil producer as part of its India Agribusiness Fund. The fund identifies forward-thinking entrepreneurs in the Indian agricultural sector, and sponsors them with short-term equity financing that is typically unavailable to them in established financing streams.
“This kind of achievement shows the ingenuity of Abhay Cotex’s entrepreneurs, and the incredible impact of working capital for the realization of their vision,” SEAF India Managing Director Hemendra Mathur said.
“The Indian agribusiness sector plays a vital role in the development of jobs and infrastructure, particularly in rural areas of the country where 500 million Indians live on less than USD 1.30 a day,” SEAF India Managing Director Partha Choudhury said. “SEAF’s agribusiness fund is uniquely poised to effectively invest in this sector, and our partnership with Abhay Cotex demonstrates the timeliness of such equity financing.”