- Production System represents a milestone for Brazilian science, as it contains the first genetically modified soybean fully developed in the country
- 150 producers to access the technology this year
BASF and Embrapa launch Cultivance®
Brasília (DF) – August 25, 2015 – today, BASF and Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (Embrapa) officially launched the Cultivance® Production System, a milestone for Brazilian science, as it contains the first genetically modified soybean fully developed in Brazil. The technology was approved by the European Union, a major import market, at the end of the first half of this year. This has made it possible to start production of seeds for making the system available to the market.
As a result of the partnership between BASF and Embrapa that stretches back more than ten years, the Cultivance® Production System combines four genetically modified soybean cultivars with considerable genetic potential and the use of Soyvance Pré, a broad-spectrum herbicide for controlling large leaf and grass weeds, thereby creating a new production system. Starting in 2016, new cultivars should be launched that will expand cultivation areas to meet the demand of farmers who would like to use the new system to manage weeds.
The two companies invested US$ 33 million into developing the system, including - along with the herbicide - genetic improvement, scientific studies conducted in laboratories to confirm food safety of the new soybean and field studies to support the worldwide registration process.
Cultivance® was developed to meet the needs of all regions of the country and will be available to seed producers for the 2015/16 harvest, but will be marketed in eight states in Brazil this first year: Paraná, Minhas Gerais, São Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Bahia, Goiás and Rondônia, and in the Federal District. Field demonstrations at technical events and regional launchings of cultivars are planned in the areas indicated for all materials. In addition to seed producers, about 150 farmers have been selected to access the technology this first year. After familiarizing themselves with the materials under field conditions, the farmers will be able to request seeds for the 2016/2017 harvest. The seeds will be marketed by seed producers licensed under the Embrapa Partnership System and through distributors accredited under the National Seed and Seedling Production System.
For the chairman of Embrapa, Mauricio Antônio Lopes, the technology is reaching the market at just the right time: “We estimate that resistance to existing technologies has spread to about 30% of the soy cultivation area, making our technology a very interesting and viable option from the point of view of managing resistance,” Lopes stated.
And for Eduardo Leduc, Vice President of the BASF Crop Protection Business Unit in Latin America, the technology will help farmers that increasingly need to “rotate” herbicides with different active mechanisms so as to avoid selection of resistant biotypes. “This is fully Brazilian born-and-raised technology, from concept to market, and it can be described as an important and viable alternative to existing systems too,” Leduc affirmed.
BASF and Embrapa – a successful partnership
BASF and Embrapa first paired up in 1996, when they focused on technology transfer, which marked the start of the research leading to the Cultivance® Production System.
Through modern genetic engineering techniques, a BASF proprietary gene known as ahas was introduced by Embrapa into soybean plants. This gene produced a soybean that was tolerant of imidazolinone herbicides. BASF and Embrapa submitted all the risk analyses required under Brazilian law for the deregulation of Cultivance soybeans to the National Technical Commission for Biosafety (CTNBio) in January 2009. After an analysis and review period, CTNBio released Cultivance® soybeans for marketing in December 2009, stating that their use did not constitute a risk to human or animal health or to the environment. Since that time, the approval process for the technology has been ongoing in Brazilian soy importing regions, including the United States, China, Japan, and lastly, the European Union.
At BASF, we create chemistry – and have been doing so for 150 years. Our portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. As the world’s leading chemical company, we combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of over €74 billion in 2014 and around 113,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.
About BASF’s Crop Protection division
With sales of more than €5.4 billion in 2014, BASF’s Crop Protection division provides innovative solutions in crop protection, seed treatment and biological control as well as innovations to manage nutrients and plant stress. Its portfolio also includes products for turf and ornamental plants, pest control and public health. BASF Crop Protection is a leading innovator that partners with growers to protect and enhance crop yields, enabling them to produce high quality food more efficiently. By delivering new technologies and know-how, BASF Crop Protection supports growers to make a better life for themselves, their families and communities. Further information can be found on the web or on our social media channels.
The Brazilian Company for Agricultural Research (Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária - Embrapa) was founded on April 26, 1973 and is linked to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento – Mapa). Embrapa has 46 research centers (technical, product, eco-regional and service) and 16 business offices all over the country. Since its formation, it has been tasked with developing, in partnership with the National System for Agricultural Research (Sistema Nacional de Pesquisa Agropecuária – SNPA), a genuinely Brazilian tropical agriculture and livestock model that overcomes barriers limiting production of foodstuffs, fibers and energy in our country.
This effort has helped to transform Brazil. The national agricultural sector is today one of the most efficient and sustainable on the planet. A wide area of land degraded in the Brazilian Savanna has been made productive – a region that is now responsible for about 50% of all grain production. Beef and pork production has increased fourfold, and chicken by 22 times. These are some of the achievements that have brought our country from a position of being an importer of basic foodstuffs to one of the largest producers and exporters worldwide. For more information go to: www.embrapa.br.