DuPont recently hosted a celebration to officially open the Africa regional technology centre in Delmas, South Africa. The centre will accelerate new product development across multiple crops for farmers. With construction recently completed, the centre comprises a network of strategically placed research facilities and testing locations across the continent.
“The global network of research facilities and testing locations demonstrate DuPont’s ongoing commitment to research and development to accelerate seed product development for African farmers, helping them better manage pests and crop disease, climate volatility and soil fertility,” said Alejandro Munoz, Vice President, Global Commercial Business, DuPont Pioneer.
DuPont invested 100 million Rand in the Africa technology centre, which currently employs African scientists and skilled technicians to support local research efforts, across testing locations in South Africa and, for the continent.
The centre includes:
- The Delmas technology centre, which focuses on major Eastern region research activities, with breeding programs in maize and sunflowers, that incorporates key Pioneer and PANNAR research and testing locations, combined germplasm, talent and experience to improve cultivar breeding and development for Africa.
- A multi-crop research centre in Hoogekraal that will conduct multi-crop research for DuPont Pioneer and PANNAR with a focus on drought tolerance.
- Africa’s biggest private Insectary, critical to the development of traits to combat local yield robbing pests, some of which are unique to the continent.
- Training and education opportunities for staff and academic institutions every year to host a plant breeding symposium to foster research skills development and to work with smallholder farmers to improve the livelihoods of families in rural communities.
DuPont has similar technology centres in the US, Brazil, India and China as part of the company’s global research network. Delmas will serve as the central hub of the Africa regional technology centre, which is comprised of a network of existing research facilities and testing locations throughout Africa. The network of research centres will enable collaboration between crop researchers, maximize resources and advance research locally. South African research information adds to the global DuPont knowledge while the facilities in Delmas, Hoogekraal, Greytown, and other locations in Africa also draw on the global DuPont expertise from colleagues in other parts of the world.
The regional technology centre boasts advanced technologies, such as doubled haploids, ear photometry and the proprietary Pioneer Accelerated Yield Technology (AYT), as well as marker-assisted selection. These technologies help shorten crop breeding cycles and improve accuracy toward breeding targets – including improved drought tolerance, insect and disease tolerance, as well as improved yields with limited inputs.
The technology centre incorporates key research and testing locations, combined germplasm, talent and experience to improve cultivar breeding and development in Africa. -Press release