DAVIS, Calif. -- AgraQuest Inc. announced today that it has strengthened its commitment to the Latin American market by creating a regional team to drive the commercialization of its products throughout Central and South America.

The team which includes sales, marketing, business development, product development, registration and technical services resources will focus on delivering unique fungicide and insecticide products that provide effective pest control, improved yields, and higher quality for growers, as well as developing long-term business strategies with distribution partners.

Leading the new team will be Cesar Lamonega, who has joined AgraQuest as the VP of International Sales, LATAM & Asia. Lamonega, who currently resides in Brazil, comes to AgraQuest with more than 35 years of pesticide management and technical development experience in the Latin American market. Most recently, he worked for Chemtura as the VP of Crop Protection in Latin America.

"With a host of new registrations expected throughout Latin America over the next few months, AgraQuest is in an excellent position to capture a sizeable share of the $4 billion insecticide and fungicide market in the region over the next several years," said Lamonega. "AgraQuest is strongly committed to launching and growing our products into new markets, supporting our distributors, and providing enhanced value to growers throughout Latin America."

Providing marketing and business planning support will be Nevada Smith, Director of Business Development and Marketing, South America. Smith previously served as AgraQuest's NAFTA Marketing Manager. The sales team includes Jorge Cetti, Regional Director of Latin American Sales, Enrique Rebaza, Commercial Manager for Central America & Latin America North and Luis Serrano, Territory Manager for Ecuador. Technical development support will be provided by Fabio Brandi, Product Development Manager. Brandi recently joined AgraQuest bringing more than 15 years of experience working in technical roles with companies such as Dow AgroSciences and Chemtura. In addition to the roles already filled, AgraQuest is still recruiting a regulatory manager for the region, as well as a commercial manager for Brazil.

Building on the success that AgraQuest has generated with products in the NAFTA market -- SERENADE(R), SONATA(R) and REQUIEM(R) -- the new team will rapidly expand into the Latin American segments by offering unique chemistries with enhanced value to growers in key regional markets such as soybeans, wheat, bananas and other high-value fruit and vegetable crops.

"AgraQuest's products have an excellent fit in the Latin American market, not only in the high-end specialty crops, but in the row crops as well," said Smith. "We expect to be a major contributor in soybeans and other row crops for controlling a wide range of diseases and pests."

AgraQuest's flagship product, SERENADE, is a biofungicide that has been extensively tested in the lab and in more than 6,000 field trials throughout the world, and is already registered in a number of countries in Latin America. The company previously announced a global license, supply and distribution agreement with BASF for SERENADE. SONATA, a product specializing in the control of rusts and mildews, is currently undergoing registration in targeted countries including Brazil and Colombia. Registration for SONATA is expected by the end of the year. REQUIEM insecticide, which AgraQuest launched in the U.S. this year, is expected to be registered in 2010.

"The Latin American markets represent key strategic growth opportunities for AgraQuest. This new team will be an excellent complement to AgraQuest's existing global strengths," said Ashish Malik, Senior VP of Global Marketing for AgraQuest. "Having a dedicated team on the ground and working directly in these markets will provide growers with innovative and effective tools that have improved resistance management, residue, environmental, and worker safety profiles."

AgraQuest is a biotechnology company that focuses on discovering, developing, manufacturing and marketing highly effective pest management products for agricultural, institutional and home markets. As a leader in the emerging low chem sector, AgraQuest works to provide growers with solutions that offer best in class control while reducing the chemical load on the environment.

SOURCE: AgraQuest via Marketwire.