Sumitomo Chemical announced that as of April 1, its agricultural chemicals business operations will be integrated with the biorational business operations to strengthen its global crop protection business.

In the Sumitomo Chemical Group's global crop protection business, the agricultural chemicals business has been managed by Sumitomo Chemical, and the biorational business by Valent BioSciences Corp. in the United States.

Beginning next month, Sumitomo Chemical will directly manage functions relating to biorational business, including marketing, product management, new product development, business development and business planning, so that the Company will integrally operate both the agricultural chemicals business and the biorational business.

Sumitomo Chemical also intends to carry out the same operational integration with respect to research and regulatory functions within a year or so.

We believe that these functional consolidations will enable Sumitomo Chemical to respond to market needs more swiftly and properly in both the businesses through working directly with its affiliated companies around the world.

In connection with this integration, Sumitomo Chemical will form a Biorational Business Unit, a team assuming responsibilities for business target setting, and related research, manufacturing, or supply chain management.

The Biorational Business Unit will also engage in businesses outside the field of agriculture, including public health and forestry, as well as post-harvest operations and mycorrhizal fungi operations, all of which are currently handled by Valent BioSciences.

Leveraging to the fullest extent its product lines that are well-balanced between agricultural chemicals and biorational products, Sumitomo Chemical will expand its business across a broad range of fields, from seed treatment to post-harvest phase, thereby contributing to meeting the world's growing demand for a secured and stable supply of safer food.