12 February 2002
MONSANTO'S FOCUS ON DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
"For Monsanto Co., whose products were planted in nine out of 10 acres of biotech crops last year, developing countries -- many in the Southern Hemisphere -- represent a vast, growing market." (item 1)
[via AGNET FEBRUARY 12, 2002;archived at
Monsanto's biotechnology efforts focus on developing countries
MONSANTO'S BIOTECHNOLOGY EFFORTS FOCUS ON DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
February 12, 2002
Virginia Baldwin Gilbert, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Scientists, humanitarians and business executives were cited as saying that selling biotech crops to farmers in the world's developing nations is more difficult than in the United States and Canada, but the effort is worth it.
For Monsanto Co., whose products were planted in nine out of 10 acres of biotech crops last year, developing countries -- many in the Southern Hemisphere -- represent a vast, growing market.
Mark Wells, leader of strategic products for Monsanto's global products group, was quoted as saying, "The South is extremely important to agriculture," and that Southern countries "are important markets to us, but also our technology will bring a lot of value there."
Clive James, director of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, a nonprofit international group of scientists and others [funded by Monsanto et al], was cited as saying that in world agricultural politics, "North" and "South" are more than geographic definitions, adding, "The term, 'North and South' has developed over the years as a dialogue between industrialized countries, mainly in the North, and developing countries in the South."
The story says that last year, the world's farmers planted 118 million acres of crops with biotech traits developed by Monsanto, the company said. That was an increase of 14 percent over the year before.
James's group reported last week that about 130 million acres were planted
in biotech crops. In acreage, biotech crops are concentrated in two industrialized
countries and two developing countries:
The United States, 68 percent.
Argentina, 22 percent.
Canada, 6 percent.
China, 3 percent.
When you count farmers, the picture changes. About 5.5 million farmers planted biotech crops last year, James said, and about 5 million of them were in the South.
Southern agriculture offers promise and challenge, says Wells, of Monsanto. A big plus is that some of the countries have multiple seasons, Wells said. "With not such a harsh winter, they're able to grow crops through the winter and summer."
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