Trade Resources Company News Monsanto Looking to Exit Biotech Soybean Seeds Business in Argentina

Monsanto Looking to Exit Biotech Soybean Seeds Business in Argentina

Agricultural and seed company Monsanto is looking to exit its biotech soybean seeds business in Argentina, as it faces problems in collecting seed royalties and with a depreciation in the country’s currency.

The seed company is in talks with Argentina's government regarding a royalty collection plan, which is seen by the company as mandatory to recover investment on genetically engineered soybeans that can prevent destructive worms.

Monsanto had begun selling these seeds in Argentina around two years ago.

Meanwhile, Argentinean administrative president Mauricio Macri, who was elected in December, has raised doubts over Monsanto's royalty collection method.

The model allows some farmers to pay upfront fees, while others can pay the fee at the time of delivery of their crops to grain elevators and exporters, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Monsanto chief commercial officer Michael Frank was quoted by the publication as saying: "We are doing a full review of our business plan there."

The EU is yet to give its nod for the new Monsanto soybean variety imports. The pending approval has led to trade disruption worries among grain traders.

Argentinean government has allowed farmers to save soybeans grown from Monsanto's "Roundup Ready" seeds for replanting purposes. The move resulted in large scale illegal use of the seeds.

Monsanto plans to have a "different outcome" for its new soybean seeds variety called Intacta RR2. It claims that the new seeds will resist worms similar to that of Roundup and produces four bushels per acre, which is more than the company's earlier soybean variety.

Michael Frank was quoted by the publication as saying that most of the elevators are testing soybeans to know whether they contain Monsanto's new genes.

According to Monsanto, the tests are legal in Argentina and are needed to secure payment for the company's technology.

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