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DuPont Hosts Meeting of Leading Plant Scientists to Improve World Agricultural Productivity

Three-day Symposium Focuses on Improving Drought Tolerance

DES MOINES, Iowa, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Leading scientists from around the world convened here today for a three-day project review meeting focused on enhancing drought tolerance in plants. Hosted by DuPont (NYSE: DD) business Pioneer-Hi-Bred, the intent of the meeting is to share research information among public and private organizations in order to help increase farm productivity, alleviate poverty and improve the human condition in drought-prone areas of the world.

The meeting of the Generation Challenge Programme (GCP), scheduled for Feb. 4 - 7, brings together the world's best scientists to focus on developing tools and technologies to help farmers in developing countries produce better crops.

"The top scientists from around the world are convening at Pioneer to share cutting-edge information to make progress toward one goal -- to enhance people's lives in developing countries," said William S. Niebur, vice president -- DuPont Crop Genetics, Research and Development. "As climatic conditions continue to change, it is critical that private and public sectors work together to develop crops that will allow farmers to maximize productivity on every acre."

Pioneer sponsorship of the meeting is part of its larger commitment to provide resources to public efforts, which help alleviate world hunger and malnutrition. The business is working closely with publicly funded research organizations to help improve the availability of advanced plant genetics for impoverished farmers. Pioneer also is working with Africa Harvest to improve the nutritional quality of sorghum, which is consumed by millions of Africans.

Pioneer has been developing drought-tolerant corn hybrids for more than 50 years through conventional and molecular breeding, and transgenic biotechnology. It intends to introduce its first transgenic drought-tolerant corn hybrids in the first half of the next decade and is currently marketing a number of corn hybrids with enhanced drought tolerance.

The GCP is a broad and true network of partners from advanced research institutes and national agricultural research programs collectively working to improve crop productivity in drought-prone environments. GCP partners draw on plant diversity and new technologies to improve crops with desired traits focusing on drought tolerance. Through this wide range of partners, GCP links basic science with applied research and helps to weave an effective and interactive community of crop researchers at both the global and regional level. GCP is a program of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, is the world's leading source of customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers and grain and oilseed processors. With headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, Pioneer provides access to advanced plant genetics in nearly 70 countries.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

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