September 23, 2008


DuPont opens India corn research facility

Acting on its promise to focus on emerging markets, seed giant DuPont opened a US$2.5 million research centre in India to help farmers increase productivity to meet growing demands for grain.


The new centre is the fifth research facility in India for DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred and will develop high-yielding hybrids adapted to the unique growing conditions in the area.


The Vice President of DuPont Crop Genetics Research and Development, William S. Niebur said that DuPont is aggressively investing in India to increase farmer productivity and profitability. He further added that India has a lot to gain from investment in local R&D. 


In a recent press release, the company said emerging markets such as Brazil and India would form the main thrust of its drive to increase sales by US$6 billion by 2010.


Although the country has the second largest population in the world, its corn yields are just 25 percent of those in other parts of the world where corn is being actively improved.


With just a 10 percent increase in corn production, farmers in India could produce an additional 1.5 million tonnes of corn grain a year and it is achievable within five years with investments like those DuPont is making in local R&D, Niebur said.


The centre consolidates research activities conducted by Pioneer in and around Bangalore. It has also expanded research capacity by adding lab space for molecular and comprehensive breeding, testing and disease characterization programmes in corn.


The new Bangalore research center is part of Dupont's increase in research and development across India to speed delivery of new, improved products to market and cater to the growing demand for food and feed. DuPont has increased its research investment in India by more than 55 percent in 2008 and has increased capacity for product development and evaluation across the country.


DuPont has also recently opened its fifth global agricultural biotechnology research facility, wing of the DuPont Knowledge Centre in Hyderabad, India, where biotechnology discovery works are being conducted. The other research facilities are located in Wilmington, Del; Johnston, Iowa; Redwood City, Cal and Beijing, China.


Pioneer, one of the nation's leading suppliers of improved seed genetics has been selling hybrid seed in India for more than 30 years and currently has an estimated 1.5 million customers in the country.


Today's announcement recognizes the accomplishment of DuPont's 80 percent year-over-year increase in capital expenditures in its seed business in 2008. Examples of projects that are up and coming include enhancements in seed corn and seed production capacity in North America, Europe, Lain America and Asia.


Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, is the world's leading source of customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers, grain and oilseed processors.  With headquarters in Des Moines and Iowa, Pioneer provides access to advanced plant genetics in nearly 70 countries.


Founded in 1802, DuPont is a science-based product and service company operating in more than 70 countries. The company serves markets such as agriculture and food; building and construction; communications and transportation.

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