DuPont to Build Seed Bank in China for Nation's Expanding Agriculture Sector

Chemical producer will research the production of 'high-yielding maize hybrids.'

U.S. chemical and agribusiness giant DuPont said Feb. 14 it will build a "state-of-the-art" seed bank in Beijing to boost its molecular breeding business in China's rapidly growing agriculture market.

DuPont said the facility at the state-owned Beijing International Flower Port would employ about 50 researchers and would focus on producing "high-yielding maize hybrids."

The announcement came as China's leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping visited the White House for a meeting with President Obama.

The company -- worth $50 billion -- said the research will help "improve the sustainability of farming in China, while enhancing food security."

"This is a further extension of how DuPont is investing in global science to identify solutions locally," DuPont executive William Niebur said in a statement. "We will bring superior products to market for Chinese farmers supporting the policy direction provided in China's newly released No. 1 Document."

The document, from the top echelon of the Communist Party of China, laid out strategy for rural development and water management.

Molecular breeding blends seed varietals to produce desired results, instead of splicing in foreign genes.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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