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DuPont News, February 24, 2011

Partnering for Better Biotech Sorghum Products

Sorghum is one of the five top cereal crops in the world, along with wheat, oats, corn, and barley. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide, but the largest producer of sorghum today is Africa.
DuPont and Advanta have entered into a collaboration and licensing agreement to develop and deliver sorghum with increased productivity and value. 

Under the agreement, DuPont will provide proprietary biotechnology traits and enabling technologies to Advanta for the purpose of developing improved biotechnology sorghum products.  DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred and Advanta will have commercial rights to sorghum products developed under the agreement, once regulatory approvals have been received.  Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Improving the productivity and livelihoods of farmers everywhere is critical to meeting the demands of the future population, and biotechnology crops continue to play an important role in increasing farmer productivity,” said John Bedbrook, vice president – DuPont Agricultural Biotechnology.  “Advanta is the leading sorghum developer, and this partnership will enhance our sorghum product offering by providing more options through biotech traits.”

A staple grain for many parts of the world, almost three-quarters of the world sorghum crop is used for human consumption.  It is grown across the globe and ranks fifth in global production for cereals.  It is planted in many dry regions because of its high-energy and tolerance to drought.  Pioneer is a leading seller of sorghum in all of the major areas of the United States where sorghum is grown.  With a range of forage, grain and sweet sorghum products in its portfolio, Advanta is the world’s leading sorghum seed research and marketing company.

“Sorghum is an important crop for food and feed, and in many parts of the world, its role in energy production is growing,” said Alberto Leon, research head – Advanta.  “This collaboration will accelerate our ability to provide high yielding, high-value biotechnology sorghum products to our customers.”

Advanta is an India-based global seed business that combines proprietary crop genetics and plant breeding capabilities with biotechnology to produce high-quality seed products and solutions for its customers around the world.  Advanta is a member of the UPL group of companies.