SOURCE: Agria Corporation

Agria Corporation

November 25, 2013 08:30 ET

Leading Agricultural Scientists Join Agria Academy

BEIJING, CHINA--(Marketwired - Nov 25, 2013) - Agria Corporation (NYSE: GRO) (the "Company" or "Agria") today announced that several prominent agricultural scientists joined the panel of experts at Agria Academy. Sponsored by Agria Corporation, Agria Academy is a professional institute of agricultural technology research and development consisting of six full-time researchers directed by a panel of five distinguished scientists and researchers. Joining the expert panel are Professor Tongming Song, Mr. Gan Chen, Mr. Baishan Lu, Dr. Changchao Su and Mr. Weiming Huang.

The experts joining Agria Academy are renowned for their accomplishments in agricultural science, most importantly in genetics and breeding of advanced cultivars. The Company expects that their accumulated knowledge and experience will enable Agria to discover and commercialize new and valuable strains of cultivars.

Mr. Alan Lai, Agria's Executive Chairman of the Board, commented, "I am delighted and honored that this distinguished group of leading scientists will join our panel of experts at Agria Academy. The expertise of this group is unrivaled in China, and we expect their insights and efforts to result in products that improve the food chain in China, enriching millions of lives in the process. The establishment of Agria Academy demonstrated our long-term commitment to high quality research. In joining us, this group and its credentials endorses the quality of our research effort. We look forward to advancing seed technology standards to a world class level, which will enable Agria to further expand its market position in high growth markets around the world."

Agria Academy is a research and development facility tasked with developing advanced planting and seed cultivation technology for new strains of forage seeds, corn seeds and vegetable seeds. Through the effort of the Agria Academy team, the Company this year launched two new field corn seed varieties and six new edible corn seed varieties. In fiscal 2015, Agria plans to launch a new field corn seed and three new edible corn seeds. The Company expects the effort of Agria Academy scientists to result in a steady flow of new product innovations in the years ahead.

New members of the panel of experts include:

Tongming Song. Professor Song is a specialist receiving special allowance from the State Council of the People's Republic of China. He served as a professor and doctoral supervisor at China Agricultural University in 1989, an honorary professor of the University of Illinois in the USA, a director of the Plant Genetics Breeding department of China Agricultural University, and a part-time professor of the Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science. He is an advisor to leading global agricultural companies such as Pioneer-DuPont, Monsanto, and Renessen (a joint venture of Monsanto and Cargill). He has received a First Prize at the National Awards for Science and Technology Progress, a Second Prize in the National Awards for Science and Technology Invention, and a First Prize from the Ministry of Trade and Economic Cooperation for Science and Technology Progress.

Gang Chen. Mr. Chen holds a Masters Degree in Corn Genetics and Breeding from Anhui Agricultural University. He served as the director of Crops Research Institute of Beijing Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Science from 1988 to 2001 and a part-time professor of Biology department of Capital Normal University since 2001. Currently he is the vice director and secretary-general of the Crop Science Society of Beijing and Executive Director of the Crop Science Society of China. He has carried out the breeding of several corn hybrids that have been examined and approved by various provincial authorities.

Baishan Lu. Mr. Lu is Manager of the Edible Corn Seed Department of Beijing Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Science. He has developed more than 30 edible corn varieties of the JINGKENUO and JINGKETIAN series. Notably, his JINGKENUO 2000 corn seed has wide adaptability, good quality, high yield and strong anti-adversity, causing it to become the leading variety of edible corn seed for planting in China. In 2005, South Korea approved JINGKENUO 2000 as its national variety. As the first exported corn strain from China, there are now hundreds of millions of ears of corn exported to South Korea each year.

Changchao Su. Dr. Su holds a Doctoral Degree of Agronomy, majoring in Crop Genetics and Breeding, from Nanjing Agricultural University. Before joining Agria Academy, he served as an Associate Breeder/Commercial Breeder at Monsanto China from 2002 to 2006, and a Research Scientist in the Beijing Research Center of Tieling Pioneer Seed Research Company 2006 to 2012. Dr. Su was instrumental in developing the two of the most popular corn hybrids in China for Pioneer, Xianyu335 and 32T24.

Weiming Huang. Mr. Huang holds a Bachelor degree in Crop Genetics and Breeding from China Agricultural University. Mr. Huang joined the Company in 2007, and is engaged in edible corn seed and field corn seed breeding. He is expert in breeding the waxy corn variety "Linou 2119," which was examined and approved by the Verification Committee of Crop Variety of Beijing Municipality.

About Agria Corporation

Agria Corporation (NYSE: GRO) is an international agricultural company with operations in China, South America, New Zealand and Australia. Agria operates three principal business lines: China seeds, international seeds and agriservices. In China, Agria engages in research and development, production and sale of seed products, including proprietary field corn seeds, edible corn seeds, vegetable seeds, grass seeds and forage. Agria owns through Agria Asia a 50.22% equity interest in PGG Wrightson Limited, New Zealand's largest forage and agricultural services company. For more information about PGG Wrightson Limited, please visit For more information about Agria Corporation, please visit

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