ADVANTA TROPICAL CORN
Maize or Corn (Zea Mays) is a versatile cereal crop, grown in about 100 countries in tropical, sub-tropical and temperate regions of the world. Since 1960, global production has had trouble keeping up with demand. Global maize production stands at 791.285 MT from an area of 147.562 million ha. USA, Brazil, China and Mexico account for 70% of the production.
As the world's population grows, as demographics and food habits change we find ourselves in greater need for corn grain to satisfy the demand. It is projected that there will be an increase in global maize demand. In order to satisfy the growing demand seed supplying companies have been quick to introduce technologies to help the farming communities increase productivity and also to add value to their business. Global cereal demand in 2020 is estimated at 2.1 billion MT and will, for the first time, show a major shift in favour of maize. Demand for Maize is estimated at 852 million MT compared with 760 million MT for wheat and 503 million MT for rice. The greatest areas of growth will be in developing nations which are also mainly tropical maize producing nations. Industrial nations of the world such as the USA and the EU are projected to show the least areas of growth. Corn crops are advancing from low-tech commodities to high-tech, high-value, and high-demand products. Through science, technology and education seed companies are helping growers increase productivity in corn.
ADVANTA CORN BUSINESS
Today Advanta's space within the global corn industry is in the tropical sector. Advanta has what is considered to be "Elite" germplasm that out performs the competition in many of the markets . With a relatively small R and D budget and number of breeding personnel compared to the large corn companies, Advanta has been able to hold good market share in certain markets. We have our tropical Corn Breeding Programs in Thailand and Brazil and the temperate Corn breeding program in Argentina.
Corn market value drivers :
- Market access
- Germplams Strength or ability to access germplasm in value markets
- Increased Yield
- Competitive trait requirements (Native and GM) - herbicide tolerance, insect and pest resistance, yield, nitrogen use efficiency (NUE), Water use efficiency (WUE)
- Speed to market
- Seed and Grain quality
- Rising input costs
Advanta is moving very quickly to become a key player within the global Tropical corn arena. For the company to emerge as a leader it is imperative that the current elite germplasm is matched with new trait technology such as herbicide tolerance , insect resistance and Water Use Efficiency (WUE). There is very little doubt that the corn markets, especially in developing countries within Asia and LATAM , will continue to grow so that the need for self sufficiency within these regions can be met. Advanta currently has an excellent portfolio of products that has a good fit and presence in the regions of East Asia , South East Asia, and South Asia. Areas that offer further opportunities are : Latin America - Argentina (temperate germplasm with traits), Brazil, Colombia, Equador, Mexico and Guatemala; West Asia / North Africa and Sub Saharan Africa.
Thailand - Centre of Excellence for Tropical corn
Our main research station of tropical corn is located in Lopburi, Thailand. Pacific Seeds, Thailand, one of the subsidiaries of Advanta has been producing high yielding tropical hybrids for more than 15 years. The breeding team has put lot of effort to develop elite corn germplasm. The hybrids with high yield, good stability, high shelling percentage and adaptability to diverse environments make them suitable to be launched successfully in most of the south and south eastern Asian countries.
We are working on development of hybrids that have good adaptation in the high altitude regions (200- 400 m above sea level), and development of hybrids with downy mildew and Northern Corn leaf blight resistance.
Transgenic corn (herbicide tolerance, insect resistance) is commercially being sold in Tropical corn countries – Philippines and Brazil. Advanta is collaborating with technology providing companies to develop market driven transgenic tropical corn hybrids in these countries. Research also is focusing on the development of corn hybrids with agronomic traits like water use efficiency, Nitrogen use efficiency, salt tolerance and yield enhancement. Advanta also has research projects and associations in these areas.
Advanta plays an important role in the global tropical corn markets. Yield and ability to adapt to diverse climatic conditions are the most important factors in the development and competitive placement of Advanta's tropical corn. Advanta research and product development is actively working on many factors that make up yield and adaptation. Advanta is continuing to enhance its products and technologies to deliver higher value to the farmers.
Today tropical corn is the third largest crop in Advanta's crop portfolio. With great germplasm and right alliances in place combined with the right resources the Advanta tropical corn business is poised to triple by 2015. Advanta is working hard to make the company appreciated by the farmers as a supplier of high quality products supported by elite germplasm and latest technology.