• We are a Non-Profit company serving our local agriculture industry.
  • Providing THE best climate ideally suited for the development of this industry.

Puerto Rico will get boost from Monsanto expansion

By Adam Sege — McClatchy Newspapers

Posted: 6:00am on Jun 29, 2011

WASHINGTON — Monsanto, the agricultural technology company, plans to announce on Wednesday a $4.3 million expansion of its research and development labs in Puerto Rico, a boost to the island’s economy.

Monsanto executives plan to expand one of the company’s two Puerto Rico work sites, constructing a 20,000-square-foot home for new research and development laboratories. Monsanto’s research on the island focuses on corn and cotton, and it also grows corn and soybean seeds for the mainland United States.

The expansion will create 45 jobs and replace temporary facilities with permanent ones, said Kimberly O’Brien, a Monsanto spokeswoman.

The announcement sends a positive signal about the U.S. territory’s economy, particularly after other recent life science investments, said Jose Perez-Riera, Puerto Rico’s commerce secretary.

“If you have one company that decides to do it, it may just be that that company decided to do it,” Perez-Riera said during a visit to Washington for a biotech conference. “If you start getting others, it means that the business climate for that type of activity works.”

At last year’s biotech conference, Pioneer Hi-Bred, an Iowa-based seed company, announced that it was adding a second research and development center in Puerto Rico.

Since Gov. Luis Fortuno took office in 2009, he’s implemented several programs aimed at guiding the island from a manufacturing economy to what Perez-Riera calls an “innovation economy.” New tax incentives, in particular, are catching the interest of outside companies, Perez-Riera said.



Pioneer opens PR’s first bioagriculture R&D lab


Pioneer Hi-Bred Puerto Rico Inc. cut the ribbon Wednesday on the island’s first bioagriculture research & development (R&D) laboratory.

The company’s investment in the Salinas facility totaled $6 million — $2.5 million to remodel a 22,000-square-foot facility into a laboratory and $3.5 million for machinery and equipment — and is expected to create some 100 skilled jobs in the agronomy field.

These new positions include both lab and related positions. Company officials said 40 jobs have been created and the remaining 60 will be added over the next 18 months.

The new research laboratory adds to the island’s thriving bioagriculture cluster. It will focus on marker technologies used to discover, characterize and commercialize traits and seed varieties —including corn, soy, sorghum and sunflower— that are resistant to plagues and require less pesticides and herbicides.


(c) 2016 PRABIA