October 1, 2014 / 12:23 AM / 4 years ago

Monsanto to spend $90 mln on corn seed research center in Mexico

MEXICO CITY, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Global seed technology giant Monsanto expects to invest $90 million over the next five years in a new corn seed research center in Mexico, the company said on Tuesday.

On Monday, Monsanto said it had launched a new global center for developing conventional hybrid strains of corn in Tlajomulco de Zuniga on the southern fringe of Guadalajara, the country’s second biggest city.

The new research center will not develop new corn seeds that harness genetically modified organisms (GMO) and is not connected to Monsanto’s pending applications to expand beyond pilot plantings of GMO corn in Mexico, company spokeswoman Erika Campuzano told Reuters in an emailed response to questions.

The center “aims to create new conventional varieties of corn that are tolerant to diseases as well as biotic and abiotic stresses that affect the cultivation of corn all over the world,” said Campuzano.

She added that Monsanto’s research efforts seek to contribute to the doubling of global corn output by 2030.

Campuzano said the company has already spent $64 million since 2009 on land, buildings, equipment and operational costs associated with three other research centers dedicated to developing better corn and sorghum seeds in Jalisco, Guanajuato and Nayarit states. (Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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