Jun. 22, 2022
Bayer announced an investment of £24 million (R$125 million, in direct conversion) for the construction of new laboratories, greenhouses and the purchase of equipment at its Development Center, located in Petrolina, Sertão de Pernambuco, Brazil.
Inaugurated after Bayer's investment, the new protected cultivation areas are used for soy crossing. There are 16 new greenhouses with a controlled environment used for developing grain technologies. The Petrolina unit is responsible for producing soybean varieties and corn hybrids and creating new lines.
For the leader of Bayer's Product Development Operations in Petrolina, Marijke Daamen, the city is a strategic hotbed for biotechnology production. “Bayer's reasons for coming to Petrolina are the same as for fruit growing. The climate is stable, 8° south of the equator, it has high temperatures, with several light hours and water availability,” she highlighted.
Also according to Marijke, the investment is the largest in South America in research and development. “The new protected cultivation area will be essential to centralize processes that were previously carried out in several countries”, Marijke emphasized.
Another novelty is that Bayer launched, this year, the first two hybrids 100% developed in Petrolina. “From now on, all corn and soybean seeds produced by Bayer are from Pernambuco,” she added.
To get an idea of the complexity of the seed grain production process, about 13 years are spent in all stages to reach a final result. Thousands of tests are carried out, and about 55,000 crosses are made to produce the ideal grain. In addition, there is bureaucratization that makes the process complicated, which takes, on average, two years for national approval.
According to Bayer, its proximity to the São Francisco Valley region, puts it at an advantage over other regions.
Bayer's unit in Petrolina is the company's largest research center in the southern hemisphere. The center can develop soy and corn every week of the year for scientific and innovation purposes. The Bayer unit in Petrolina was installed in 2010 and employs up to 1,000 people at the peak of the harvest.