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News 772 views last update:14 Jan 2016

Paraguay bets on genetically modified crops

Paraguay will approve Monsanto's genetically modified Roundup Ready 2 soybean seeds before the end of this year along with new corn technology aimed at improving the country's competitiveness as a grains exporter, Reuters reports.

Paraguay collected 4.3 million tonnes of soy in the 2011/12 season, during which yields were reduced by drought. The south American country expects its soy output to jump to 8 million tonnes in the 2012/13 season, thanks in part to the new seeds, according to Agriculture Ministry trade chief Santiago Bertoni.

"Roundup Ready 2 is 90 percent there," in terms of being approved for sowing in Paraguay, Bertoni said, predicting that the official OK will be granted in time for farmers to use the new technology when this year's planting starts in October.

"With this step we will improve the technology balance between ourselves and other countries, improving our ability to compete," he added. "The 2013 harvest will include fields planted with these seeds."

Paraguay is the world’s fourth soy exporter after the United States, Brazil and Argentina.

Paraguay is also headed toward approving corn technology from Monsanto and Dow Chemical, Bertoni said.


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