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BUSINESS & SEEDS: Arcadia gets $3.6M USAID grant to develop crops with MAHYCO-Monsanto (India)



                                  PART 1


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TITLE:  ARCADIA GETS $3.6M GRANT TO DEVELOP CROPS IN INDIA

SOURCE: Sacramento Business Journal, USA

AUTHOR: Celia Lamb

URL:    http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2008/12/01/daily22.html

DATE:   02.12.2008

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ARCADIA GETS $3.6M GRANT TO DEVELOP CROPS IN INDIA

Arcadia Biosciences Inc. has received a $3.6 million grant to develop rice and wheat in India that use less fertilizer and water.

The U.S. Agency for International Development awarded the three-year grant, according to a news release. Arcadia will work with Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co. Ltd. of India to develop and implement the program. Davis-based Arcadia signed an agreement with MAHYCO in April to commercialize new crop varieties in India and South Asia.

India faces rapid population growth and farming practices that strain fresh water supplies. Arcadia is developing crops that tolerate salt and use less water, potentially relieving demands on drinking water supplies. It is also developing nitrogen-efficient crops that can cut fertilizer use by 50 percent while still obtaining high yields.

Crops generally absorb less than 50 percent of nitrogen fertilizer applied to agricultural fields, and the rest might pollute rivers or be emitted as nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that is 300 times more damaging than carbon dioxide.

?Increasing the productivity and sustainability of rice and wheat systems in South Asia is critical for the low-income producers and consumers across the region and a high priority for USAID,? said Robert Bertram, acting director of USAID?s Office of Environment and Science Policy, in a news release. ?South Asia is home to almost 1.5 billion people, including more than 30 percent of the world?s malnourished people. As essentially all of the arable land is already under cultivation, meeting future cereal demand and enabling agricultural diversification will require higher rates of improvement in cereal yields.?



                                  PART 2

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TITLE:  USAID AWARDS $3.6 MILLION TO DEVELOP RICE AND WHEAT VARIETIES

SOURCE: USAID, USA

AUTHOR: Press Release

URL:    http://www.usaid.gov/press/releases/2008/pr081124_2.html

DATE:   24.11.2008

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USAID AWARDS $3.6 MILLION TO DEVELOP RICE AND WHEAT VARIETIES

The U.S. Agency for International Development today announced the establishment of a new public-private partnership to produce rice and wheat varieties that will support feeding 1.5 billion people. Partnering with Arcadia Biosciences, this initiative will work to develop Nitrogen Use Efficient (NUE), Salt-Tolerant and Water Use Efficient rice and wheat varieties capable of growing in a variable climate which increases the difficulty of providing these staple crops.

?Sustainable wheat and rice production in South Asia is critical for producers and consumers alike. Environmental variables can be mitigated by the development of these stress tolerant crops, enabling the region to produce more food, spending less for fertilizer and reducing the environmental impact of fertilizer runoff in waterways,? said Henrietta H. Fore, USAID Administrator.

This crop improvement project will contribute to increasing the productivity and sustainability of rice and wheat systems in South Asia. Drought, salinity and nitrogen availability are constraints to rice and wheat production in South Asia, a region with almost 1.5 billion people and high rates of poverty and malnutrition. Most climate change scenarios furthermore indicate that climatic conditions will become more variable in the future, making it increasingly difficult for farmers to meet demand for these staple crops.

USAID will grant $3.6 million to Arcadia Biosciences, an agricultural technology company based in Davis, CA. Arcadia will work with its partner in India, Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Ltd., on product development and implementation for the program. The three year project will leverage over $18 million of additional private sector investment.


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