Bayer CropScience CEO opens new rice development center in Thailand
Professor Berschauer: “Enabling a second green revolution in Asia with new, high-yielding rice varieties”
Rice seed production in Asia to be expanded substantially by 2017
Suphanburi, Thailand – Bayer CropScience is aiming to help make a “second green revolution” possible in Asia by developing new, high-yielding varieties of rice. The company plans to expand substantially the breeding and marketing of commercial rice seed in the region, with the aim of increasing the production volume eightfold by 2017. “Furthermore, we want to intensify our research and development activities in Asia and bring a number of new rice varieties with improved plant traits to market,” explained Professor Friedrich Berschauer, Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer CropScience AG, at the inauguration of the company’s new rice development center in Suphanburi, Thailand. The launch of first commercial seed varieties to the Thai market is planned for 2011.
The new development center, situated at the heart of Suphanburi, a rice growing region north of Bangkok, rounds out the company’s involvement in rice in the Asia Pacific region. Bayer CropScience opened a rice research laboratory in Singapore in June this year.
Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of rice, and exports over 60 percent of the rice produced in the country. “High-quality seed tailored to local weather and cultivation conditions offers Thai farmers a higher yield potential,” Berschauer said. “But the introduction of high-yielding, disease-resistant varieties is also intended to make a contribution to securing the world’s food supply in the 21st century,” he continued. Berschauer was optimistic that the launch of new, high-yielding rice varieties will pave the way to a “second green revolution” in Asia.
Rice - the most important crop in the world
Asia is the world’s main rice growing region, and rice in turn is the most important food crop on our planet. More than 90 percent of the rice produced in the world come from Asian countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. The area planted to rice has increased by about a third since 1960, and the production volume has tripled over the same period. Yet this increase in production is now no longer sufficient to meet the global demand for rice, which is expected to grow by around 30 percent in the next 15 to 20 years. This could lead to bottlenecks in the food supply. “One way of closing this gap is with hybrid rice,” Berschauer said. “We are convinced that the development and commercialization of seed with a higher yield potential is a major option for making rice production sustainably more efficient.”
Improving productivity with Arize® seeds
Bayer CropScience has extensive expertise in the field of classical breeding and development of hybrid rice. The company markets conventional hybrid rice varieties under the Arize® brand in seven countries which together represent over half of the world’s rice cultivation area. They include major rice producers such as India, Indonesia and Brazil. High-quality Arize® seed combines excellent genetic purity and germination capacity with a yield potential that is at least 20 percent above that of classic rice varieties.
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience AG, a subsidiary of Bayer AG with annual sales of about EUR 5.8 billion (2007), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of about 17,800 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at: www.newsroom.bayercropscience.com
More information is available at www.bayercropscience.com
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