Arcadia Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:RKDA) and Bioceres Crop Solutions Corp (NYSEAMERICAN:BIOX) announced that the drought and herbicide tolerant soybeans produced by the companies’ joint venture have won approval in Paraguay.
The venture, known as Verdeca, got the green light from the Paraguayan Minister of Agriculture, through the National Commission for Agricultural and Forestry Biosafety.
The soybeans possess the HB4 trait, Verdeca’s latest product release from its pipeline of traits designed to help soybean producers improve the quality and resilience of their crops.
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"HB4 is a novel soybean trait that enhances the traditional herbicide tolerance package to provide yield stability across diverse environments," Verdeca General Manager Martin Ventura said in a statement. "Approval of this technology in Paraguay is another significant step for the successful commercialization of HB4 technology in the South American soybean market."
The trait has already been approved in the US, Argentina and Brazil. With Paraguay in tow, HB4 has regulators’ blessing in more than 80% of the global soybean market.
"Trials in Argentina and Brazil have shown a positive impact of the HB4 trait stack on soybean yields," Arcadia CEO Matt Plavan said. "We're seeing remarkable excitement in the market from potential seed distribution partners and farmers wanting to grow our drought tolerant and herbicide resistant crop."
China is currently considering regulatory submissions, and import approval from the country is necessary in order for a commercial launch in Argentina. That launch is expected in 2020.
Arcadia and Bioceres formed Verdeca in 2012 to deploy innovative soybean traits in key production regions, beginning with North America and South America.
Paraguay, for its part, is home to more than 3.5 million of the world’s soybean acres.
"This approval in Paraguay is an important step, which not only adds over three million hectares from a market opportunity viewpoint, but also helps us leverage breeding efforts for southern Brazil, where growing conditions are generally similar," Bioceres CEO Federico Trucco said.
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