Buenos Aires, May 4th. In October 2016, the former manager at Monsanto Argentina, Pablo Vaquero, in association with leading agribusiness consulting Cazenave, took control of Genetica Mandiyu (CDM), the unique cotton seed company supplier in the country, belonging to Monsanto. “They had treated to sell it to largest global seed companies, but CDM was a relatively small business for them. It was when we appeared and offered for CDM”, comments Mr. Vaquero in dialogue with www.eFarmNewsAr.com.
The main problem that cotton chain was dealt in Argentina was the technology delay and illegal commerce of seed. “By 2016/17 growing season, only 20% of the cotton acreage (230.000 hectares) was seeding with legal seed”, explain the manager of Gensus. On the other hand, farmers only count with BG/RR first generation technology in their varieties. “There is a two biotechnology generation delay now in Argentina”, comments Mr. Vaquero, with new and better events to control insects and a wider window herbicides application”, added.
The challenge to Mr. Vaquero and his equip was large: how turns an unprofitability business into a lucrative one. They took the bull by the horns and went to visit the delinting plants. There are only four in Argentina, one of them from Gensus, who clean the cottonseed and supply it to the farmers for a new planting. Gensus reached an agreement with delinting plants for declaring the seed processed. Meanwhile, the National Instituto of Seeds (INASE by his acronym in Spanish) set a new regulation forcing farmers to declare the origin of his seeds.
“Thus, by 2017/18 season not only cotton acreage expanded to 320.000 hectares, but 60% of the seed had a legal origin. We achieved that farmers that reserve its own seed pay a fee of 4 dollars per hectáre. We estimate that yields were improved 20 to 30 percent thanks to the use of legal seed, that assures quality and purity”, confirms Mr. Vaquero.
Now, Gensus are closing an agreement with National Instituto of Agriculture Technology (INTA) to licensing new cotton varieties developing by this government institute. At Gensus they are very hopeful that their work improves the cotton chain entire. They expect that acreage raise to 450.000 or 500.000 hectares in 2018/19 season. Also, they are looking for the new technologies finally enter the Argentinean market, paying the corresponding royalties to developers.
“There is a revolution in this crop and we want to be part of it. We estimate that 150 farmers are responsible for 80% of the national production. They are using no till farming system, fertilizers, and ultimate harvest machines”, close Mr. Vaquero with a real optimism based on the changes that he is seeing.