Bayer CropScience launches new high-yield rice variety in India

Monheim, Germany, May 14, 2008 - Bayer CropScience announced the launch of the first hybrid rice variety Arize? Dhani in the world against Bacterial Blight in India. This new variety can increase production by 20% to 30% compared to conventional varieties, and provide strong protection for crops against the highly destructive bacterial leaf blight.

"Rice is a staple food in many developing and emerging markets. Despite the growing global demand for this crop, the occurrence of diseases will greatly affect the harvest and threaten the food supply," said Professor Friedrich Berschauer, Global President of Bayer CropScience. We are constantly increasing investment in research and development of innovative agricultural technologies, such as hybrid rice seeds that are designed to ensure a bumper harvest.

Arize? Dhani is a key milestone in the development of new high-yielding, disease-resistant rice varieties. "Bacterial bacterial blight is a common disease affecting global rice production caused by Xanthomonas oryzae. This results in a 60% reduction in rice production in India. In this case, the hybrid rice variety Arize Dhani raises rice." Productivity plays an important role and therefore helps to ensure the sustainable supply of this key food crop.

Hybrid seeds are increasingly important

"Hybrid rice is an important crop in Bayer CropScience," said Frederic Arboucalot, Global Rice Manager and Head of Asia Pacific, Biological Sciences. Bayer CropScience sells a total of 7 rice varieties in India. India is a developing country, with 1.1 billion people and 44 million agricultural land. The 128 million tons of rice production makes it the second largest rice producer in China alone. "In spite of this, India's productivity is much lower than China's, ranking only 16th in the world," stresses Arboucalot. "The new plant protection products and the seeds that will increase production are the focus of future development to increase productivity and produce enough food."

Bayer CropScience is a global leader in the development of hybrid rice. The high-quality seed variety ArizeTM has very few impurities and is very prone to germination. At the same time, it can increase yield more than conventional rice varieties. Arize? was listed in 2007 in six major Asian countries (India, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Pakistan) and Brazil.

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