HOW IT WORKS

Kindustry Park, Keokuk, will be the new home of VAMA, Inc., a startup company that will develop and manufacture targeted, natural and effective solutions for insect control.

VAMA is a new biotech company conceived and operated by the company’s chief scientist Krishna Prasad Sudhir Nair.

This morning, the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board of Directors awarded VAMA $200,000 in incentives under the Targeted Jobs Withholding Tax Credit Program.

The business qualifies for the award because 30 of the 45 jobs the company will phase in during the next three years

will pay $17.60 per hour. VAMA also has pledged to make a capital investment of $816,000 in the business and to provide comprehensive health benefits to its employees.

VAMA will begin production in January 2015.

Sudhir and Steve Bisenius, executive director of the Lee County Economic Development Group, received the Keokuk City Council’s blessing Thursday evening when council members approved of  resolution to support VAMA’s application for the state’s tax credit program. The resolution was a requirement for the IEDA award.

“The company has 61 different products,” Bisenius said. “It’s an exciting introduction to Keokuk.”

VAMA is working with Dadant & Sons of Hamilton, Ill., a global beekeeping business, to eradicate the mite that is killing honeybees, Bisenius said.

He noted that Sudhir’s product has all but eliminated Dengue Fever in India.

“It’s really a beautiful thing for the city and the area,” Bisenius added.

VAMA was incorporated in Iowa in August 2013 and can create targeted solutions for any insect problem. The products it will make are safe for humans and animals.

Its bed bugs and mosquito products have been tested and validated for effectiveness by the Iowa State University School of Entomology.

KSB Bank made the required local match.

City council members reacted favorably to the city’s newest manufacturing business.

“Welcome to Keokuk,” said council member Ron Payne, who added that he’s just retired from a Keokuk industry owned by an Indian firm.

“I think it sounds exciting,” said council member Sandy Pollitt.

VAMA has been working with LCEDG and the City of Keokuk for almost a year on this project.

Sudhir was drawn to Keokuk by Dr. Ravi Pottathil, who has been working on setting up a business locally.

Source: The Daily Gate City