SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - For the fifth consecutive year, Embrapa-Monsanto Research Fund receives transfer of funds, as royalties, for the development of sustainable agricultural solutions.
Nine research projects of Embrapa, all of which focused on national agriculture, will benefit from the funds, in the amount of R$ 5.9 million, assigned by Monsanto to Embrapa-Monsanto Research Funds. The sum derives from the sharing of the intellectual property rights, payable as royalties, over the commercialization of Embrapa's soybean varieties containing Roundup Ready(R) technology in 2009/2010 season.

The initiatives supported include studies related to popular crops in Brazil, such as beans (achievement of resistance against White Mold by means of genetic engineering), rice (transformation by genes related to drought tolerance and increased yield potential) and sugarcane (search for genes for genetic improvement aimed at drought tolerance). The resources will be invested in Embrapa research projects, chosen by the managing committee of the Research Fund held by Monsanto in partnership with Embrapa.

The announcement was made on November 29th at a ceremony held at Embrapa Rice and Beans, Santo Antonio de Goias (GO). Monsanto has already assigned to the Research Fund, between 2006 and the present year, over $25 million that benefited dozens of projects, mostly in biotechnology, from various units of Embrapa.

"Because of the growing agricultural demands, it takes a joint effort so that we can produce more, conserve more and improve the lives of those who work in agriculture and of the entire population who consume the products from field. In line with such focus, we are deeply proud to have Embrapa as our partner, a global benchmark in the development of agricultural research," states Andre Dias, president of Monsanto in Brazil.

For Embrapa, the partnership with Monsanto is strategic. "Agreements like these, focused on agricultural research and innovation, are essential, and are in line with the government priorities, as it reunites public and private sectors to face the global challenge of increasing agricultural yield in a sustainable way," completes the executive director of Embrapa, Jose Geraldo Eugenio de Franca, who honored the event for the assignment of the Fund alongside the head of the Embrapa Rice and Beans, Pedro Machado, and some of the researchers who will be granted funds this year.

Projects contemplated

The resources assigned will contemplate the following of Embrapa's research projects:

1) White-mold resistant beans via genetic engineering;

2) Improvement of conventional cotton resistant to root-knot

3) Development of data platform on Brazilian biomes;

4) Study of the environmental impact of Bt corn on the entomofauna,
soil microbes and grain production;

5) Containment and tracing program for the development of
glyphosate-tolerant and insect-resistant cotton genotypes;

6) Identification of glyphosate-resistant weeds;

7) Formulation of biopesticides based on viruses, fungi and
bacteria to control the fall armyworm;

8) Transformation of rice with genes related to drought tolerance
and increased yield potential;

9) Search for sugarcane genes for genetic improvement aiming at
drought tolerance.

Source: Monsanto