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DuPont Pioneer & Limpopo Dept. of Agriculture to Collaborate to Improve Smallholder Maize Production

Farmers to improve their household food security and farm income through better farming practices

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 22 NOVEMBER 2012 – DuPont Pioneer, one of the world’s leading agricultural businesses, and the Limpopo Department of Agriculture, today signed an agreement that will see smallholder maize farmers in the Limpopo Province assisted to improve their farm productivity, household food security and incomes. This collaboration is part of a broader commitment by Pioneer to work with communities, government and other groups to develop programmes addressing the challenges faced by small-scale and developing farmers.

Madzivhandila College of Agriculture, represented by the Limpopo Department of Agriculture, will implement the project jointly with Pioneer. The project will initially be pilot-tested in the Limpopo Province for two years. The best practices from the pilot phase will be incorporated into the design of the second phase.

Pioneer will collaborate in training programs with extension agents and technical officers from the Limpopo Province in aspects of plant breeding, variety selection, agronomic practices, and plant biotechnology techniques utilized in crop production. The extension agents will in turn empower farmers to adopt best practices for use of maize hybrid seed, fertilizer and herbicides, to improve their maize yields. Additionally farmers will learn how to select the best seed variety for their geographical locations in order to maximize yields.

“We believe that the South African smallholder farmer will play an increasingly crucial role in the nation’s food security and we aim to give them the tools and skills to do that through this effort,” said Pamela Chitenhe, DuPont Pioneer director - Africa.

Farmers will have a chance to practice what they learn on demonstration plots on the Madzivhandila College of Agriculture grounds which will be managed by the college’s agronomy team. Pioneer will provide the hybrid seed, fertilizer and pesticides to be used on this training farm and will also make available sample seed for participating farmers to try at their own farms.

“This collaboration is important to us and signals the DuPont Pioneer ongoing commitment to improving smallholder agriculture in South Africa,” said Kgadima Cullingworth Mortimer Mannya, Head of Limpopo Department of Agriculture.

DuPont Pioneer (www.pioneer.com) is the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering Success™.

DuPont (www.dupont.com) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders, we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment.



Contacts:    Anne Wangalachi
+27-11-218-8604 and +27-83-809-2424


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