Monsanto plans to launch a non-GM (genetically modified) corn seed plant in Ukraine, one of the world's leading producers of grain, the company said last week.
"Monsanto is planning to build a seed plant in Ukraine to produce conventional corn seeds," Vitaliy Fedchuk, corporate affairs specialist at Monsanto Ukraine, reported. "The seeds will be for the Ukrainian market and for export."
Ukraine, which harvested about 3 million tonnes of maize 10 years ago, threshed 20.9 million tonnes in 2012 and might increase the output to 21.8 million tonnes this year, analysts say.
Initial investment in the project "is intended to be about US$140 million", Fedchuk said. "We plan to have the plant operational by August 2015, provided we finalise the land acquisition by mid-August 2013. We have several preferred locations, one of them is Vinnytsya."
Ukrainian laws bar local farmers from growing genetically modified crops. Asked whether Monsanto expected changes in regulations, Fedchuk said: "Indeed, in Ukraine only conventional seeds are allowed for production and importation, thus we will be working with conventional seeds only."
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