DuPont Invests in South Africa Regional Technology Hub
Investment includes multi-crop drought research center in Hoogekraal
On May 23, DuPont leaders joined public, private sector and government leaders to officially open the Africa regional technology center in Delmas, South Africa. This technology center will accelerate new product development across multiple crops for farmers.
“The global network of research facilities and testing locations demonstrates DuPont’s ongoing commitment to research and development to accelerate seed product development for African farmers, helping them better manage pests and crop disease, climate volatility and soil fertility,” said Alejandro Munoz, Vice President, Global Commercial Business, DuPont Pioneer.
DuPont invested 100 million rand (about 7.7 million U.S. dollars) in the Africa technology center, which currently employs African scientists and skilled technicians to support local research efforts for testing locations in South Africa and across the continent. DuPont’s investment in R&D in Africa includes:
The Delmas technology center, which focuses on major eastern region research activities with breeding programs in maize and sunflowers that incorporate key Pioneer and PANNAR research and testing locations, as well as combined germplasm, talent and experience to improve cultivar breeding and development for Africa.
A multi-crop research center in Hoogekraal that will conduct research for DuPont Pioneer and PANNAR with a focus on drought tolerance.
Africa’s biggest private insectary, critical to the development of traits to combat local yield-robbing pests, some of which are unique to the continent.
Training and education opportunities for staff and academic institutions to host a yearly plant breeding symposium to foster research skills development and to work with smallholder farmers to improve the livelihoods of families in rural communities.
DuPont has similar technology centers in the US, Brazil, India and China. Delmas will serve as the central hub of the Africa regional technology center, which is comprised of a network of existing research facilities and testing locations throughout Africa. The network of research centers will enable collaboration between crop researchers, maximize resources and advance research locally.
South African research information adds to global DuPont knowledge. The facilities in Delmas, Hoogekraal, Greytown, and other locations in Africa also draw on global DuPont expertise from colleagues in other parts of the world.
“Better performing seed products will lead to greater yields for farmers, including smallholder farmers – and will help enhance farm productivity,” said Prabdeep Bajwa, Regional Director for the DuPont’s agricultural business in Africa and the Middle East. “Africa has untapped potential to boost its agricultural output if the continent increases investment in agricultural research and development to adapt global technology to local needs.”
“With nearly 35 million hectares available with grain yields of less than two tons per hectare, Africa is a key agricultural growth area for DuPont and, with sufficient investment in technology, represents tremendous opportunities for productivity gains, ” said Bajwa. “Africa will be a major contributor to feeding the world population, and the technology center will increase our breeding and testing capacity, as well as enable the continent to leverage the most advanced breeding technologies and germplasm pool to develop high-performing maize, sunflower and soybean products for farmers,.”