By Leonardo Gottems, correspondent in Brazil

In this interview*, Rodrigo Santos (Head of CropScience LATAM Bayer) talks about the launch of the company’s new technology, Intacta 2 Xtend, in Brazil. We were invited by Bayer to get learn about its experimental third generation soybean fields and talked to those responsible for the agricultural division of the agrochemical multinational.

Intacta 2 Xtend technology is directly linked to China. What stage is the launch currently in?

Santos: Our deadline to launch the technology is in 2021, so we have another year. All the processes are being done normally in China, the tests and the analysis of the technology. We are in the final stage of approval, which we expect to be approved in 2020, when we can make our commercial launch. There is also a good relationship between the Chinese government and the Brazilian government, which is very important to this technology.

Unlike other products that were launched in the United States, this technology will be launched in Brazil for tropical agriculture. This is why the Brazilian government has taken a leading role in this process, by working with regulatory bodies in Europe, China and rest of the world for the approval of technologies developed in Brazil for Brazilian agriculture. We are confident that we will have this approval. All technical tests were done here in Brazil, and we received approval at CTNBio (National Technical Commission on Biosafety) in 2018.

The current scenario is one of increasing demand, how do you foresee Bayer’s performance?

Santos: This is the fundamental equation. If you predict the need to increase food production, it is very considerable at 80% more than what is currently produced. So you can see the scale of the challenge. Evidently, China is a big consumer due to its increasing population and consumption, and it is already establishing South America as its main source of soy. This is why Brazil needs to increase production, not only due to China but also to other world markets.

The plan to increase Brazilian production, which is already high, is very challenging, because it is dependent on productivity. It will not be due to an increase in agricultural area, it will come from innovation, technology and digital agriculture, which are very important factors. It must not just be an increase in production, it has to be better quality and better food distribution. This whole equation must be taken into account.

* originally published in AgroPages.com