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Delivering Powerful Solutions to Brazilian Farmers

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Delivering Powerful Solutions to Brazilian Farmers

Together through a research collaboration, Corteva Agriscience and Embrapa, the in-house organization for research and development of the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, are maximizing resource efficiency, and bringing innovative, powerful solutions to Brazilian farmers and consumers.

Embrapa, which works to deliver innovative solutions and technology to help drive more sustainable practices, has nearly 50 years of research experience and a legacy of transforming Brazilian agriculture. Its capabilities are well-aligned with Corteva's vision for creating a more sustainable, productive and profitable future for agriculture. 

“Like Corteva, Embrapa is a world leader in R&D and its influence is crucial for adopting new agriculture technologies in Brazil, one of Corteva's biggest markets,” said Alejandro Muñoz, President, Corteva Agriscience Latin America. “Our collaboration currently focuses on developing improved traits and advancing the application of genome editing in Brazilian agriculture.” 

Three main research projects were initiated in 2019 and leverage CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology for trait development:  

Drought-tolerant soybeans

Water stress and nematode infestation have become severe in certain areas of Brazil. This project focuses on providing drought-tolerant soybeans to farmers while also supporting sustainable production. 

Root-knot nematode-resistant soybeans

As a result of the collaboration with Embrapa, Corteva has developed a novel method for efficiently screening candidate root disease resistance genes. Together the organizations are helping to provide insights into future breeding and biotech solutions for nematode resistance

Control of undesirable post-harvest darkening of common bean seed coat

The common bean is a staple food in Brazil. Consumers are highly selective against an undesirable dark color which can occur during post-harvest storage. This collaborative work will support common-bean growers, who are usually smallholder farmers, eager to reduce this undesirable trait.  

Corteva’s collaborative work to improve common-bean post-harvest storage aligns with the company’s goal to understand and address consumer needs. Furthermore, assisting these farmers in reducing product loss while increasing the value of their product supports one of Corteva’s sustainability goals, which is to enrich the lives of smallholder farmers. 

"These projects are providing insights and solutions to address our customers' needs while also representing an important step toward applying genetic editing in Brazilian agriculture that helps farmers produce food in a more efficient and sustainable way," said Roberto Hun, Corteva Agriscience Vice President, Latin America. 

Alexandre Nepomuceno, Director of the Embrapa National Soybean Research Center, believes that "Embrapa and Corteva have a tremendous opportunity to work on impactful innovations to help address one of our biggest challenges: food insecurity. We are using our plants' genome knowledge, and genome edition tools like CRISPR to solve food production as farmers face challenges provoked by climate changes.

Sandra Milach, Seed Product Development Breeding Technologies Lead at Corteva, explained that Embrapa is a key partner in enabling genome editing solutions for Latin American farmers, “Together, Corteva and Embrapa are making significant progress to collectively advance societal benefits and transparency of CRISPR technology.”

“Embrapa and Corteva have a tremendous opportunity to work on impactful innovations to help address one of our biggest challenges: food insecurity."

   -Alexandre Nepomuceno, Director of the Embrapa National Soybean Research Center

This collaboration is an excellent example of leveraging one of many biotechnology tools to develop innovative products and solve relevant problems in global agriculture. 

For more information on Corteva's collaboration with Embrapa, contact Adriana Ferreira, Corteva Strategic Partnership Manager, at   

If you have a solution to one of the many agricultural challenges and you would like to collaborate to bring it to fruition, we invite you to submit your proposal.

Corteva is committed to enabling the research community and encouraging wide adoption of gene editing to improve agriculture and make licenses to CRISPR-Cas9 available to nonprofit organizations, academics, and commercial enterprises.

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