KWS Unveils New Research and Development Facility in Uberlândia, Brazil

As part of its international growth strategy, seed specialist KWS has inaugurated a new research and breeding station for vegetables in Uberlândia, located in the western part of Minas Gerais state, Brazil. The facility will focus on breeding tomatoes, melons, and watermelons and was officially opened with a ceremony.

Ailton Ribeiro, Head of Breeding Latin America at KWS Vegetables, welcomed approximately 100 visitors with a presentation, toast, and ribbon-cutting. Attendees then toured the new station, viewing various field-grown varieties.

The 13-hectare facility includes warehouses, offices, 3,800 square meters of greenhouses, and 7 hectares of open field area. The team, consisting of around 60 experts, breeders, and farm staff, plans to expand greenhouse space for phytopathology activities. This station will serve as the central hub for KWS’s vegetable market activities in Brazil and South America, focusing on developing high-quality, high-yielding, pest and disease-resistant varieties suited to tropical and subtropical conditions.

“This new investment from KWS in Uberlândia combines experience and innovation with a long-term goal of delivering added value with our varieties to this tropical and subtropical country with its challenging conditions,” said Eduardo Albonico, National Sales Manager Brazil for KWS Vegetables.

In Brazil, KWS Vegetables also operates an office in Campinas and conducts breeding activities in Petrolina. Petrolina, located in northeastern Brazil, is significant for melon cultivation, serving both domestic and export markets in the US and Europe. The Campinas office handles finance, sales, and development and supports the Uberlândia Research Station.

Background: New business unit for vegetable seeds

KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies, with over 165 years of experience in the seed industry. The company specializes in the breeding, production, and sale of seeds for corn, sugar beet, cereals, rapeseed, and sunflower. In 2019, KWS entered the vegetable seed market with a greenfield approach, aiming for organic growth and strategic acquisitions.

This expansion included acquiring Dutch vegetable breeding company Pop Vriend Seeds, known for spinach and beans, and Italian vegetable seed company Geneplanta S.r.l. (now KWS Vegetables Italia), a specialist in tomato varieties, in March 2021.

KWS has also been staffing its new business division and launching breeding activities in Brazil, Spain, Turkey, Italy, the Netherlands, and Mexico. The company is expanding its network of breeding stations to develop a significant position in the vegetable seed market, focusing on the needs of the value chain and prioritizing the end customer.

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