ST. LOUIS – The Paraguayan Minister for Agriculture and Livestock yesterday approved four soybean varieties containing Monsanto’s Roundup Ready technology for planting and marketing in Paraguay. Separately, a framework agreement worked out by an industry commission has been approved that provides for a royalty collection system designed to encourage continued innovation in agriculture.

“This is a milestone for agriculture in Paraguay,” said Brett Begemann, Executive Vice President of International Commercial for Monsanto, the company that invented Roundup Ready technology. “The agricultural leaders of Paraguay are not only acknowledging that new technologies are providing real benefits to farmers today, they are also encouraging continued investment so that Paraguayan farmers can benefit from new technologies in the future.”

Paraguay joins more than 15 countries/regions that have approved Roundup Ready soybeans for commercial planting or importation. Paraguayan growers typically plant 3.7 million acres (1.5 million hectares) to soybeans, which yield roughly 4 million metric tons, or about 2 percent of the world’s soybeans.

Begemann also said the Paraguayan approval, combined with the successful implementation of a system that will allow royalty collection on new technology (including Roundup Ready and other future technologies), means that Monsanto is committed to furthering its role in Paraguayan agriculture. The system used to remunerate inventors for their technology is similar to the grain-based program that was implemented in southern Brazil this year. In Paraguay, this system was designed by a commission that included members of grower associations, grain handlers, technology providers and seed companies.

As part of its commitment to Paraguayan agriculture, Monsanto plans to fund research and development projects agreed to by the government and agricultural providers that compare different technologies and germplasm across a range of growing regions throughout the country.