Seeds: The race is on to unlock nature’s secrets
More and more people, less and less land. How we are all going to eat in years to come? Faced with that kind of pressure, our Seeds specialists are racing against the clock to unlock the secrets behind nature’s healthiest plants. To find the answers the planet needs, they’re pooling all the resources they have: traditional and smart breeding techniques, genetic analysis and targeted trait development.
While we’re experts in cotton, oilseeds and vegetables, food staples like wheat and rice are crucial too. Breeding and biotechnology offer smart ways to their boost taste and nutrient quality – even their looks. These methods also help plants survive the barrage of stresses they meet out in the field: bugs, weeds diseases, drought, salinization of soils and more. There’s also harvesting, processing, transport and storage: Our business unit Seeds gives plants the strength to endure it all.
Basics for life
Right now, many of our seed specialists are hard at work on wheat and rice. Together, these two staple crops are the foundation of the world’s diet, making up a third of total harvested farmland.
To date, we’ve answered farmers’ urgent call for rice offering higher yields while needing less water and fertilizer. In wheat, too, the drive is for ‘more and better’, with 2015 our scheduled launch date for new varieties.
Determined to get these advances to farmers quickly, our Seeds specialists pull together knowledge from global networks of colleagues and partners. Our network of breeding stations, strong in Europe and North America, is set to grow into Asia and Australia. Meanwhile, our network of external partnerships has now reached many highly specialized research firms and institutes.
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