KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - U.S. chemicals group DuPont said Thursday it would invest more than $50 million in an expansion of its biotech soybean research and development program in Delaware.
The proposed investment would take place over five years and is part of the company's larger efforts at increasing yields and overall food production.
The investment plan is part of a "significant expansion" of DuPont's biotech research efforts, according to John Bedbrook, vice president of DuPont's agricultural biotechnology unit.
"It would increase the speed at which we can bring new products to the market and help farmers around the world increase yields through tolerance to environmental stresses, insects and disease," Bedbrook said.
The company said it would expand biotech research facilities at DuPont's global research and development headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, and at a site in Newark, Delaware, and the plan would include new soybean research laboratories, tissue culture facilities, environmentally controlled growth rooms and greenhouses.
DuPont's Pioneer Hi-Bred is one of the world's leading seed companies. It and rival Monsanto Co each are pursuing higher yielding soybean, corn and other crops amid mounting concerns about food security and the nutrition demands of a growing world population.
Reporting by Carey Gillam; Editing by Lisa Shumaker