PureCircle, a Malyasia-based producer of sugar substitutes, plans to invest about $200 million over the next five years in India to cultivate stevia (meethi tulsi), a shrub whose leaf extract is a natural sweetener.
It will also set up a supply chain and eventually a processing unit in the country, the company said on Tuesday.
“Over the next five years, we hope to have 5,000 hectares of farm land that would grow stevia. Once we reach the capacity of about 15,000 tonnes of stevia leaf a year in India, we’ll look at putting up a processing plant here,” said Jason Hecker, president of group sales and marketing at PureCircle.
Currently the company sources about 25,000 tonnes of stevia leaf from China, which accounts for 90% of the company’s demand annually.
“Our aim is to source 50% of total requirement from markets outside of China by 2020. India, potentially, could be one of our major sourcing markets in future. The scope is huge, and there’s captive demand,”
INR 1300 Crore /-
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