CTC – Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira – and BASF enter technical cooperation agreement in sugarcane
- German-based BASF and Brazilian research center enter cooperation in plant biotechnology
- Focus on development of genetically modified sugarcane varieties for the Brazilian market with drought tolerance and 25 percent higher yields
Piracicaba (SP, Brazil), August 4, 2009 - CTC – Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira and BASF announced today a cooperation agreement in plant biotechnology. The companies are combining their competencies in sugarcane breeding and biotechnology with the aim of bringing sugarcane growers higher-yielding and drought-tolerant sugarcane varieties. The goal is to bring sugarcane varieties with yield increases of 25 percent to the market within about the next decade. This would result in an almost unprecedented jump in productivity for any crop.
”We entered this cooperation because we are strongly committed to the continuous development in technologies for increasing yield and to reduce production costs in sugarcane,” said Nilson Zaramella Boeta, CEO of CTC. “The great leap in sugarcane quality and productivity that CTC and BASF start working on today will certainly support Brazil’s position as the leading global player in sugar, ethanol and energy,” he added.
“The key objective of this cooperation is to develop sugarcane varieties that will produce 25 percent more yield than the varieties currently on the market. This type of yield increase would mean that the average quantity of sugarcane harvested could rise from 80 to 100 tons per hectare,” said Marc Ehrhardt, Group Vice President, BASF Plant Science. “We are proud to cooperate with CTC, one of the world’s leaders in improving sugarcane production through conventional breeding as well as biotechnology. The cooperation is another example of BASF’s plant biotechnology strategy by which we aim to increase efficiency in farming by bringing BASF’s superior genes to farmers around the world in cooperation with the best partners.”
The yield increase that the partners are targeting will create significant additional value that will be shared among sugarcane, ethanol and energy producers, as well as CTC and BASF. The agreement also provides the possibility for both companies to evaluate the development of sugarcane varieties with herbicide-tolerant characteristics in the future.
With this agreement, BASF is launching its biotechnology activities in the sugarcane sector. CTC – the largest and leading sugarcane research center in Brazil with 40 years of history and 15 years dedicated to biotechnology – will gain a very important partner in research to develop new technological solutions. BASF provides plant biotech knowhow as well as its most promising genes, and CTC, in turn, brings its broad expertise in sugarcane and adds selected genes to its most promising sugarcane varieties.
Located in the municipality of Piracicaba in São Paulo, CTC has 40 years of activities and is a worldwide technological reference in sugarcane breeding. The center has 182 members producing sugar, ethanol and energy. CTC serves about 12,000 sugarcane growers and maintains experimental stations and regional units in strategic areas of the Southeast, South and the Midwest in Brazil. The main objective of the center is to develop and transfer cutting-edge technology to its members. These together account for 60% of cane processed in Brazil, or a total of 450 million tons during the 2008-09 season.
With the largest germplasm sugarcane bank in the world, CTC carries out research in the industrial, logistics and agronomic areas: varieties of sugar cane, planting and mechanized harvest, biotechnology, biological pests control, healthy plants, geoprocessing, satellite images, location of production environment, sugar production, energy generation and production of ethanol from 1st and 2nd Generation. In biotechnology, CTC conducts state-of-the-art research, using a 5,000 m2 greenhouse, authorized by CTNBio and employing highly qualified, including master and PhD level, professionals. For more information: www.ctc.com.br.
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals to crude oil and natural gas. As a reliable partner, BASF helps its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. BASF’s high-value products and intelligent system solutions helps them to find answers to global challenges such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF posted sales of €62 billion in 2008 and had approximately 97,000 employees at year-end. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com .