Biotech in Africa: Titans battle on the African front
By PHILIP BRASHER • firstname.lastname@example.org •
May 10, 2010
Delmas, South Africa - The bitter battle that seed giants Monsanto Co. and Pioneer Hi-Bred wage for the hearts and pocketbooks of farmers doesn't end
in the United States. They're going at it in Africa, too.
The profit potential in Africa is limited. Production of corn, the two companies' signature food crop, is dominated in Africa by poor, smallholder farmers, who often till two or three acres at the most. There is little commercial-scale corn production outside of South Africa.
Still, there is public good will to be gained in Africa, if not a lot of money. Concerns grow about the impact of climate change and a growing population globally and in sub-Saharan Africa in particular.
St. Louis-based Monsanto and Pioneer, the Johnston-based unit of DuPont, are collaborating in a project called the Global Harvest Initiative, which promotes the use of technology to increase food production. Deere & Co. and grain processing giant Archer Daniels Midland Co. are the two other partners.