October 12, 2020
Wheat HB4: the risk of doing to be leaders
HB4 is an event that comes from sunflower and confers tolerance to drought and other abiotic stresses to different crops. It was tested with great success on wheat and soybeans. In the case of wheat, it is especially important since it increases productivity even without stress and much more if there is one. There is no other similar breakthrough in the world, many companies tried it. Bioceres and the Argentine public scientific system were able to achieve this after many years of work.

In a world that places hunger, food security and climate change on the agenda, HB4 is synonymous with hope, and it is ours.

The novelty is also that for the first time there is a development for a large crop that is not in the central countries and in large transnational companies and substantial investments in the matter. This configures a new situation, the HB4 put Argentina at the center of the global debate.

The event was approved in the instances where the environmental impact (Conabia) and on health (Senasa) are analyzed and approval was lacking from a commercial point of view. The latter is more complex since it requires systemic and strategic analysis, and assumes more risks due to this subjectivity.
There are risks to approving it, it is evident, any transformation or change of the status quo has it, even more so in this situation where we are leaders without having the power of the central countries. There are also risks for not approving it and most of the time these are not dimensioned.

Being a leader requires not only creating something new, that adds value, but also taking risks and being willing to fight to do it and sustain it. Being a leader is taking risks and managing them. It is knowing how, when and with whom to take the necessary steps.
The purpose of Bioceres is to create value in the broadest sense for all stakeholders, especially those who produce, innovate, research and invest for a better future. It should not be forgotten that most of the shareholders of the company are producers, who decided to form the company back in 2001, one of the worst moments in our country.

Building leadership does not depend only on developing and having a technology, it requires a society willing and prepared to be it. We will have to work: get approval from the markets, develop a high-quality production model with preserved identity, generate new players in value chains and services, be willing to learn and change quickly, etc. In these times of turbulence and uncertainty we have to allow ourselves to rethink and redesign what we do.

The founders of Bioceres knew 20 years ago, when we embarked on this task, that we should provoke and sustain these debates. This was the case with the implementation of direct seeding and also with the support of biotechnology. Our purpose was to create a virtuous link between science and production, developing productive ecosystems that are more efficient and virtuous in their impact on the environment.
Argentina will be able to export knowledge and participate in a mega collective construction where science and agribusiness offer new solutions to the problems of humanity.

Bioceres is a model of synergistic integration between the public and private sectors, in a historical moment of great impulse to innovation, research and development. It is made up of more than 320 Argentine businessmen and companies, including two cooperatives, which have generated a unique organization and business model: a "Cooperative of the Knowledge Society", with a modern, participatory management that is integrated into the large global knowledge networks. It is the only biotech company in Latin America that trades its shares on the NYSE [New York Stock Exchange]. At Bioceres we are not big, we are many, and we believe that to go far it is better to go together.

We hope to be able to build, together with all the interest groups and actors of the wheat value chain, ideas and actions that will help us mitigate the risks to be done. But we will not be part of a group that prefers the risk of not doing.

Published in by: Marcelo Carrique, Gustavo Grobocopatel and Víctor Trucco (The authors are president and ex-presidents of Bioceres, respectively).

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