KWS invests in Brazil to double production capacity

KWS is investing in Brazil. The independent seed company is more than doubling its production capacities. A total of around €10 million is currently being invested at the Patos de Minas location. This will increase annual corn production capacity from 900,000 to more than two million units.

“That clearly shows how important we believe the Brazilian market is in the long term,” said Hagen Duenbostel, the member of KWS’ Executive Board responsible for corn. The new plant expansions will be put into operation at the beginning of 2019.

With a cultivation area of around 15 million hectares, Brazil is the world’s third-largest corn market after the US and China (with each at around 36 million hectares of corn plantings). KWS has been operating in Brazil since 2012, when the Einbeck-based company acquired the Brazilian company Riber. Since then, KWS has grown its corn market share from around three percent to approximately seven percent and now ranks fifth in Brazil.

“We see significant growth potential and are preparing to tap that long term. I assume that cultivation area in Brazil will increase to over 20 million hectares in the next eight to ten years,” added Duenbostel. “We’re very optimistic that we can capture a market share of around 15 percent in ten years at the latest. Our new plant is one of the milestones on that path.” Patos de Minas is a municipality in the state of Minas Gerais and is located around 300 kilometers southeast of the country’s capital city Brasilia.

Further components in KWS’ strategy for Brazil are new genetically modified traits that protect plants against insects, for example.

“We can equip our hybrids with the newest and most competitive traits on the market, giving options and delivering ideal solutions for the Brazilian farmer,” said Duenbostel. KWS will also offer many brand-new high-performance hybrids in Brazil in the mid-term: “KWS has a full breeding pipeline underway and is planning to launch many new proprietary corn hybrids in the coming years. Our progress in breeding and our sales growth gives us confidence to become a leading Brazilian corn seed company in the mid to long term.”

Duenbostel added: “Being a leading innovator, we are also recognized for a team and a company grounded in Brazilian values, tradition and culture. Our investments in Brazil, as everywhere, have a long-term focus. As a forward-looking international company, we always keep an eye on the political developments and situation in the countries where we are represented to ensure to manage effectively and reliably – even with changing political environments and administrations. But regardless of all political developments, Brazilian agriculture will always be the country’s backbone.”