KWS Is Investing In Brazil To Double Its Production Capacity

The construction site in Patos de Minas. In the background the existing production site can be seen. On the bottom left and near the center of the picture the new facility is growing.

(October 11, 2018) - KWS is investing in Brazil: The independent seed company is more than doubling its production capacities. A total of around €10 million is currently being invested at the Patos de Minas location. This will increase annual corn production capacity from 900,000 to more than two million units.

“That clearly shows how important we believe the Brazilian market is in the long term,” says Hagen Duenbostel, the member of KWS’ Executive Board responsible for corn.

The new plant expansions will be put into operation at the beginning of 2019.

With a cultivation area of around 15 million hectares, Brazil is the world’s third-largest corn market after the U.S. and China (with each at around 36 million hectares of corn plantings).

“We see significant growth potential and are preparing to tap that long term. I assume that cultivation area in Brazil will increase to over 20 million hectares in the next eight to ten years,” adds Duenbostel.

KWS has been operating in Brazil since 2012, when the Einbeck-based company acquired the Brazilian company Riber. Since then, KWS has grown its corn market share from around three percent to approximately seven percent and now ranks fifth in Brazil.

“We’re very optimistic that we can capture a market share of around 15 percent in ten years at the latest,” stated Duenbostel. “Our new plant is one of the milestones on that path.”

Patos de Minas is a municipality in the state of Minas Gerais and is located around 300 kilometers southeast of the country’s capital city Brasilia.

Further components in KWS’ strategy for Brazil are new genetically modified traits that protect plants against insects, for example.

“We can equip our hybrids with the newest and most competitive traits on the market, giving options and delivering ideal solutions for the Brazilian farmer,” said Duenbostel.

KWS will also offer many brand-new high-performance hybrids in Brazil in the mid-term: “KWS has a full breeding pipeline underway and is planning to launch many new proprietary corn hybrids in the coming years. Our progress in breeding and our sales growth gives us confidence to become a leading Brazilian corn seed company in the mid to long term.”

Duenbostel adds: “Being a leading innovator, we are also recognized for a team and a company grounded in Brazilian values, tradition and culture. Our investments in Brazil, as everywhere, have a long-term focus. As a forward-looking international company, we always keep an eye on the political developments and situation in the countries where we are represented to ensure to manage effectively and reliably – even with changing political environments and administrations. But regardless of all political developments, Brazilian agriculture will always be the country's backbone.”


KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies. In fiscal 2016/2017, 4,950 employees in 70 countries generated net sales of €1,080 million and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of €132 million. A company with a tradition of family ownership, KWS has operated independently for more than 160 years. It focuses on plant breeding and the production and sale of seed for corn, sugar beet, cereals, rapeseed and sunflowers. KWS uses leading-edge plant breeding methods to continuously improve yield and resistance to diseases, pests and abiotic stress. To that end, the company invested €190 million last fiscal year in research and development, 17 percent of its net sales. For more information, visit: www.kws.de

Research in Patos de Minas: A KWS employee with a small corn plant.