06 May 2022, South Africa: Corteva Agriscience today officially opens its Centre for Seed Applied Technologies (CSAT) laboratory in Rosslyn, Pretoria, one of only six worldwide. This modern facility will utilise industry-leading equipment and focus specifically on recipe development and safety testing of seed applied solutions The site will also be integrated into Corteva’s global CSAT network and is strategically positioned to meet the ongoing demands of grain producers across Africa Middle East (AME), ensuring that farmers have access to high-quality seed and better field performance.
“Not only does this investment showcase our commitment to regional agriculture and ongoing research and development, but it also demonstrates our ambition to effectively utilise cutting-edge technology to help increase yields, improve livelihoods and ensure sustained food security,” says Venkata Subbarao Kolli, President, Africa Middle East, Corteva Agriscience.
Seed treatments involve the application of chemical or biological substances, such as fungicides or insecticides, directly to the surface of a seed, safeguarding the seeds and seedlings against insects, fungal diseases and soil-borne pathogens. Seed treatments help improve seed and plant health, as well as germination rates; protect plants from the start when they are most vulnerable to insects and disease; and increase the likelihood of a quality and improved harvest. Solutions also allow for an efficient and targeted use of active ingredients, reducing the total amount of pesticides required, helping to preserve biodiversity and pollinators, and promote sustainable agriculture.
“This CSAT lab further strengthens the company’s offering in the seed production segment,” says Tony Esmeraldo, Business Director, South Africa, Corteva Agriscience. “We are offering the most complete package of solutions, including the development of the best hybrids, crop protection innovations and now, one of the most sophisticated seed treatment processes farmers can have at their disposal.”
Corteva’s evidence-based methodology combines science and ingenuity to develop and deliver advanced seed treatments that enhance grower productivity and contribute to more efficient and resilient food systems. The company’s technical teams evaluate hundreds of products each year, seeking out the right components and formulations to meet every farmer’s needs. Once products are developed, a rigorous research process is applied focusing on specific aspects such as agronomy, safety and stewardship before solutions reach customers.
The Rosslyn site was designed with advanced equipment to perform various tests that will ensure the quality of the treatment applied to the seed, offering a greater guarantee to AME producers. The facility will also serve Corteva’s respective seed brands Pannar® and Pioneer®, as well as other industry collaborators, with a view to create new seed treatment solutions to help farmers overcome the challenges of an ever-changing agricultural industry.
LumiGEN® seed treatments for Pioneer® brand are designed, verified and proven to work with the company’s current genetic portfolio, giving farmers a higher level of confidence in their seed treatment options. Pannar® brand’s complete plant health initiative, Panacea™, includes a range of dynamic seed treatment products (consisting mainly of fungicides and insecticides or a combination of both), along with unique access to expert agronomic advice.
Adds Kolli, “We strongly believe that there is significant opportunity to expand biotechnology solutions in the region– while we already have a number of products that are favourable to the soil and climatic characteristics of AME, there is room for many more market advancements.”