RiceTec to invest over R$ 20 million in south of Brazil
Oct. 28, 2016
European company RiceTec, a multinational leader in the hybrid rice sector in Americas, has officially inaugurated its new experimental station for research and development of rice seeds in Santa Maria, in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, on October 20.
The company, which has business unities in the United States, India and the Mercosur countries, intends to station its main research center in Santa Maria for the development of new types of hybrid seeds, which can be adapted to different climates and soils. The company has invested R$ 11.2 million on infrastructure and has more than R$ 9.4 million forecast for the next five years.
The station at Santa Maria (293 kilometers from Porto Alegre, the state’s capital and largest city) was developed over an area of 200 hectares and will be a center for the development of seeds to be sold mostly in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and in countries like Colombia, United States and Asia.
"The new station will have a strategic role in the global research program of RiceTech, emphasizing its mission to develop new technologies that would last and would add value to farmers and the rice chain of the world,” Ricardo Blohm Bendzius, agronomist and president of RiceTec for the Mercosur, revealed.
Mike Gumina, the Global CEO of RiceTec, highlighted the concerns regarding sustainability, a concept that aggregates social and environmental issues. “The hybrid rice, besides needing less water, can be profitable and guarantee greater sustainability. Therefore, our station in Santa Maria will leverage the quality of hybrid rice for the industry as well as for the consumers; it is a matter of time,” he guaranteed.
By setting up the new station, the idea is to amplify the developmental procedure with new cultivars and strengthen the rice chain with seeds of better quality, higher yields and adaptation. On average, a hybrid seed with commercial value takes about 8 to 12 years to be developed and requires an investment of R$ 15 million. In Latin America, the annual revenue of the company sums R$ 60 million and the research investment exceeds R$ 8 million.
With 16 years in South America and headquartered in Porto Alegre, the multinational company is currently responsible for 9% of the irrigated rice area in Rio Grande do Sul, which is nearly 60,000 hectares. According to the executives of the company, the forecast is to double the participation in the seed market in five years. Rio Grande do Sul is seen as a promising market, because it constitutes 70% of the Brazilian rice production.
Between 2011 and 2015, the number of producers who opted for RiceTec seed has more than doubled. While in 2011, there were 646 producers using the products of the company, this year it has surpassed 1,300 customers. For 2016, the company, which is responsible for 16% of the certified seed market (Cleafield) in Mercosur, is projected to amplify even more with the entrance of the conventional rice seeds market.