JIUQUAN, China -- Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. has formed a joint venture with one of China's largest seed production companies, Dunhuang Seed Co. Ltd., to provide top-performing corn hybrids to Chinese farmers in the spring market.

"I'm excited about the opportunities for the Pioneer business in China and the increased productivity that we can bring to Chinese farmers," said Paul Schickler, vice president, Pioneer International Operations. "This partnership brings together two strong seed companies and combines their strengths to benefit the agricultural industry."

Dunhuang Seed contributes extensive local field seed production experience. Pioneer's strengths are in developing products that meet farmers' needs, providing agronomic advice to its customers, and post-harvest seed conditioning expertise. With this unique combination of strengths, the JV is poised to offer Chinese farmers the highest quality seed and some strong new hybrid corn products for the spring corn market, Pioneer said.

Wang Da-he, chairman of Gansu Dunhuang Seed Co. Ltd., said, "The comprehensive cooperation between the two parent companies is a complementary one, which will upgrade China's corn seed sector and its commercialization process, and meanwhile lay a solid foundation for further development for both Dunhuang Seed and Pioneer."

With 62.5 million acres, China is second only to the United States in the amount of land producing corn. Additionally, a rapidly growing population with rising incomes has resulted in an increased demand for agricultural products. More meat is consumed in China than in any other country, and 50 percent of the world's hogs are in China, leading to a high grain demand for livestock feed.

Pioneer established a business representative office in Beijing in 1997. A year later, it began breeding and testing corn hybrids for commercialization in China for the summer and spring corn areas. The first Pioneer corn hybrids were approved for commercialization in 2002.

Pioneer established a summer corn joint venture in China - Shandong Denghai Pioneer Seeds Co., Ltd. - in late 2002. The first commercial sales were in 2004 and the business has achieved solid growth since then.

"This venture is part of a broader DuPont commitment to growing its presence in China by putting our science to work," said Douglas Muzyka, president of DuPont Greater China and DuPont China Holding Co. Ltd. Pioneer is a subsidiary of DuPont.

"DuPont earlier announced a plan to double its China investment by 2010. A series of projects, including this second seed joint venture, is under construction or negotiation to help achieve this goal."

The new joint venture, Dunhuang Seed Pioneer Hi-Bred Company Ltd., will develop and distribute high-yielding corn hybrids for the spring corn market in China. The joint venture plans to produce seed in 2007 for sale in 2008.

This is a key long-term investment in a significant agricultural market. Dunhuang Seed Pioneer Hi-Bred Company Ltd., in accordance with Chinese law, is 49-percent owned by Pioneer, and 51-percent owned by Dunhuang Seed.

Dunhuang Seed has 28 years of seed business experience and is one of the largest seed production companies in China. With 25 wholly owned subsidiaries, six joint ventures, and more than 1,500 employees, the products they produce are marketed throughout China.

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., a subsidiary of DuPont, is the world's leading source of customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers and grain and oilseed processors. With headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, Pioneer provides access to advanced plant genetics, crop protection solutions and quality crop systems to customers in nearly 70 countries.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Operating in more than 70 countries and regions, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

SOURCE: DuPont via PR Newswire.