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DuPont today opened a corn research center here to help farmers in India increase productivity to meet growing demand for grain. The new center 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.
"DuPont is aggressively investing in India to increase farmer productivity and profitability and make a dramatic, positive impact on fulfilling global demand for agricultural products," said William S. Niebur, vice president -- DuPont Crop Genetics Research and Development. "India has a lot to gain from investment in local R&D. It is the second most populous country in the world, but 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 metric tons of corn grain a year. This can easily be done within five years with investments like those DuPont is making in local R&D and product and sales support."
The $2.5 million center consolidates and strengthens research activities Pioneer has been conducting in and around Bangalore. The new facility increases research capacity by adding lab space for molecular breeding and expands comprehensive breeding, testing and disease characterization programs in corn.
The new Bangalore research center is part of a larger increase in research and development across India to speed delivery of new, improved products to market and meet 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 also recently opened the biotechnology wing of the DuPont Knowledge Center in Hyderabad, India. The Center is one of five global agricultural biotech research facilities where DuPont conducts biotech discovery work. The other research facilities are in Wilmington, Del.; Johnston, Iowa; Redwood City, Cal. and Beijing, China.
Pioneer has been selling hybrid seed in India for more than 30 years and is one of the nation's leading suppliers of improved seed genetics. Pioneer supports the sale of its products to more than 1.5 million customers in India with an extensive sales and agronomy team that works closely with Indian farmers to get the right product on the right hectare to maximize their productivity and profitability.
Today's announcement is part of an 80 percent year-over-year increase in capital expenditures by DuPont in its seed business in 2008. Examples of projects currently under way 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 and grain and oilseed processors. With headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, Pioneer provides access to advanced plant genetics in nearly 70 countries.
DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.
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