News 493 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Monsanto announces fund for Embrapa research projects

Nine national research projects of Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation Embrapa, are to benefit from funds, in the amount of R$ 5.9 million (€2.67m), assigned by Monsanto to Embrapa-Monsanto Research Funds.

The sum derives from the sharing of the intellectual property rights, payable as royalties, over the commercialization of Embrapa's soybean varieties containing Roundup Ready(R) technology in 2009/2010 season.
The initiatives supported include studies related to popular crops in Brazil, such as beans, rice and sugarcane. The resources will be invested in Embrapa research projects, chosen by the managing committee of the Research Fund held by Monsanto in partnership with Embrapa.
Between 2006 and the present year, Monsanto has already assigned over $25 million (€18.88m) to the Research Fund, benefitting dozens of projects, mostly in biotechnology, from various units of Embrapa.
Projects contemplated
The resources assigned will contemplate the following of Embrapa's research projects:
  1. White-mould resistant beans via genetic engineering;
  2. Improvement of conventional cotton resistant to root-knot nematodes;
  3. Development of data platform on Brazilian biomes;
  4. Study of the environmental impact of Bt corn on the entomofauna, soil microbes and grain production;
  5. Containment and tracing program for the development of glyphosate-tolerant and insect-resistant cotton genotypes;
  6. Identification of glyphosate-resistant weeds;
  7. Formulation of biopesticides based on viruses, fungi and bacteria to control the fall armyworm;
  8. Transformation of rice with genes related to drought tolerance and increased yield potential;
  9. Search for sugarcane genes for genetic improvement aiming at drought tolerance.
Embrapa operates through Research and Service Units as well as Administrative Units, being present in almost all States do the Federation in the most diverse Brazilian biomes.
In order to help build Brazilian leadership in tropical farming, the Company invested, above all in the training of human resources; it currently has 8,944 employees, 2,024 of whom are researchers - 21% with masters degree, 71% with PhD and 7% with postdoctoral degree. The Company budget for 2010 is R$ 1,863 billion (€830m).

Dick Ziggers

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