CURITIBA, PARANA, BRAZIL — Limagrain announced on Feb. 10 that it has just signed a strategic alliance in corn through its subsidiary, Vilmorin & Cie, with the Brazilian seeds company Sementes Guerra. Limagrain said this entry into the Brazilian corn seed market is part of its international development strategy. This agreement will extend the genetic heritage of the two parties to create more efficient varieties for the benefit of farmers.

Sementes Guerra, based in Pato Branco, State of Parana, Brazil, was founded by Fernando Guerra in 1979. This family company covers seed research and production (corn, wheat and soybean) and distribution to farmers in Brazil and neighboring countries. Sales for this activity in 2010 reached a little less than €10 million. This strategic alliance exclusively concerns corn activities which are combined in a new company “Limagrain Guerra do Brasil.”

“We are delighted with this alliance which is being built up in a co-operative spirit,” said Joël Arnaud, farmer and vice-chairman of the Coopérative Limagrain. “With Guerra, a successful and dynamic family company, we share the same sense of challenge demonstrated by our local anchorage and international scope. Our ambition is to contribute to the major food challenges facing the world. This will require higher agronomic performances in Brazil, Europe and the rest of the world. By broadening our genetic resources, this alliance will also enable us to reinforce our corn business in the Group.”

“Brazil is a world agricultural power,” Daniel Chéron, the chief executive officer for Limagrain, said. “Brazil, the ‘world’s farm’ is the third largest country for corn acreage with 13 million hectares, behind the United States (33 million hectares) and China (31 million hectares). The market for seeds in Brazil represented $1.5 billion in 2009, half of which was for corn. In 2020, this market should be close to $3.4 billion with more than half for corn. Limagrain, the fourth largest seeds company in the world through its subsidiary Vilmorin & Cie, definitely has a role to play on this highly dynamic market with strong potential for growth. Our investment in research, combined with Guerra’s knowledge of the Brazilian market and its commercial network, will extend the range of varieties proposed to farmers.

“Limagrain remains convinced of the interest of GMOs and this market is favorable to them. The rate of adoption of transgenic corn varieties has reached 50 percent in just three years. The development perspectives for this alliance are thus very strong, and we are confident about our collective future in Brazil.”