09.08.2012 - Bayer CropScience expands its R&D in Australia by the establishment of a breeding centre for stress- and drought resistant GM wheat and rapeseed.
The Monheim-based arm of German agri-biotech giant Bayer AG plans to build a new breeding centre near Horsham (Western Victoria). Bayer’s €12m investment for the new centre aims at developing new wheat and rapeseed varieties with higher yields and productivity tailored to Australian conditions. Australia ranks as the 3rd largest exporter for wheat and the 2nd largest for oilseeds.
"With the demand for wheat and oilseeds growing worldwide, we drive our efforts towards producing new high-yielding varieties that are better able to withstand pests, diseases and able to thrive under environmental stresses like drought," said Dr. Mathias Kremer, Head of the BioScience business unit at Bayer CropScience. The investment is part of Bayer’s plan to expand its wheat breeding stations in Asia and Latin America, which include huge consumer markets for wheat.
Construction of the new breeding centre will start in the coming months with first local breeding programs expected to yield results for Australian farmers within the decade, according to Bayer CropScience.
Agribiotechnology is a stragic growth field for the company. According to current market estimates of Companies & Markets the global agri-biotech market was valued at US$13.7bn and is estimated to hit US$14.4bn by the end of this year. Growing at an compound annual growth rate (CGAR) of 11.4% the agri-biotech market is to reach a value of US$24.8bn by 2017. Asia-Pacific represents the fastest growing agri-biotech market with a CGAR of 14% until 2015. Transgenic seeds, developed by Bayer CropScience as one of the key market players, make up the bulk of the market.
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