DECATUR, ILLINOIS, U.S. — Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) on Dec. 2 officially opened its fertilizer blending plant in Villeta, Paraguay — the first large-scale facility of its kind in the nation, with a daily production capacity of 2,500 tonnes. ADM has approximately 80 employees at the facility and utilizes an extensive contractor workforce.

A ceremonial ribbon-cutting event featured remarks from the Honorable President of the Republic of Paraguay Fernando Lugo, and from ADM Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Patricia A. Woertz.

“ADM connects the harvest to the home and serves vital needs for food and energy,” said Woertz. “So as global population continues to grow, and with it demands for food and energy, we seek growth to continue serving these vital needs. With Paraguay growing its agricultural sector and increasing its role as a food producing and exporting country, this new facility symbolizes a shared future of agricultural growth and success.”

The fertilizer plant in Villeta is part of ADM’s strategy to expand the reach of its core model in key geographic regions around the world.

“This plant is ADM’s latest addition to our operations in Paraguay, and we are pleased to share this moment with our colleagues, our community and our nation’s leaders,” said John Grossmann, president, ADM Paraguay. “In 2012, the Villeta fertilizer facility will be joined by an adjacent soybean processing facility with a daily crush capacity of 3,300 tonnes. This fertilizer facility and the forthcoming soybean processing facility will create hundreds of additional, permanent jobs for the area, benefiting the entire community.”

In addition to generating jobs through processing facilities, ADM is investing in projects in Paraguay that support sustainable agriculture and improve the livelihoods of farmers and their families.

To provide technological support for small family farms and help diversify the income of nearly 250 producers, ADM is partnering with Moises Bertoni Foundation, Oro Verde Stevia Company and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on stevia sweetener production facilities in the San Pedro area and the Alto Paraná region.

Naviera Chaco, a subsidiary of ADM, also invests in the people of Paraguay by providing training in river navigation and leadership development to prepare the nation’s residents for jobs in a variety of industries. To date, 70 people have completed the training program, and more than 40 have been hired.