September 08, 2023
Los Grobo breaks into a key business for the countryside and launches a new technology
In association with the biological firm Barenbrug, the company seeks to position itself at the forefront of seeds, a key item in agriculture to come.

The company Los Grobo inaugurated a seed treatment plant in the Buenos Aires town of San Miguel del Monte, with an investment of US$2 million, in association with the biological treatment specialist Barenbrug Argentina. There it plans to produce 100,000 annual bags of soybean and wheat seeds with cutting-edge genetics and "ready to use", since they come out coated with substances and microorganisms that help them germinate and develop crops with greater health, stability and yield.

"With these products we are at the forefront of the sector, in a model plant, with cutting-edge technology, which provides sustainability and competitiveness to production," said Enrique Flaiban, CEO of Los Grobo.

Ready-to-use seeds have incorporated so-called "microbial consortia", combinations of different types of microorganisms beneficial for future plants. Being applied in a professional plant, they also allow more homogeneous and stable results, since the precision of the application of the doses allows us to expect that a plant will emerge from each seed. This also allows producers to save time, since it replaces the more homemade treatments that they usually do in the field, thereby improving the sowing work and saving complexities and risks of a technical, logistical and even environmental nature.

The barrier to adoption of ready-to-use seeds is their higher price. But at Los Grobo they trust, on the one hand, in the tendency to adopt new technologies by Argentine producers, and on the other, that when the result of both methods is compared, putting all the factors into account, the result is positive. For something, they maintain, none of the producers who tried the ready-to-use seed go back to the old way.

"We want to grow in seeds, because it is a value-added business, more profitable, and because it gives us a high level of contact with the producer, with support throughout the campaign, which also allows us to gain trust and then provide other services and products," Flaiban said. "Despite being in one of the most difficult years of the last four decades, with a phenomenal drought, we continue forward, with Gustavo's gene of innovation," said Flaiban, referring to Gustavo Grobocopatel.

A promising future without incorporating hectares

The company trusts that Argentina has enormous potential to increase its agricultural production without needing to add more hectares. For Martín Sackman, the company's Innovation and Development manager, the country could go from a current production of close to 120 million tons of grains (not counting the 2022/23 harvest, devastated by drought) to one of 200 million tons, first by properly fertilizing (reincorporating into the soil the macro and micronutrients that are extracted with the crops, today with a very high deficit) and then working with biological products.

"We want to give the producer a finished, sustainable product, with extra performance," added the executive.

Los Grobo today has 35 branches and 16 collection and processing plants in 5 provinces, markets 2.5 million tons of grains annually, and plants more than 180,000 hectares in an associated manner. He also develops and sells agrochemicals through his company Agrofina, present in a distribution network of more than 400 points in the country. And it generates information for more than 3,500 producers through its Mauá digital platform.

More than 700 people work in the company. In the balance that closed in the middle of last year, its sales reached US$820 million, with an Ebitda of US$71.4 million. 86% of Los Grobo is today in the hands of the investment fund Victoria Capital Partners (VCP), while Gustavo and Matilde Grobocopatel retain the rest of the shares. →

Automatic translation from spanish.

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