RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A global agriculture biotechnology
company is expanding its North Carolina operations with plans to add 150 new
jobs within about five years.
Syngenta Biotechnology Inc. said it will expand its Durham
operations to include a new laboratory and offices at its Research Triangle Park
The jobs tied to researching crop protection and seed
development methods are expected to pay an average of nearly $82,000 a year
compared to the Durham County average of almost $67,000.
The company will get up to $3.2 million in state tax breaks
and worker training assistance.
Syngenta, based in Basel, Switzerland, now employs about 400
in Research Triangle Park and 1,130 in North Carolina.
The company is investing $94 million as it builds onto its
crop research operations, which aim to change the biology of plants to deliver
healthier and higher yielding varieties.
“This new facility will bring our employees together in one
location, furthering our ability to work collaboratively on crop trait discovery
and development that brings growers the tools they need to improve plant
performance in any environment,” Syngenta Biotechnology President Michiel van
Lookeren Campagne said in a statement.
The company’s Research Triangle Park site recently developed
a corn trait which will be sold to U.S. farmers starting this fall that combats
a pest that costs corn farmers billions of dollars each year.
Researchers will focus on traits that can help crops better
tolerate climate variability, drought and other stressors, and enhance
productivity. The current research focuses on corn, soybean, and sugar cane will
be expanded into other crops such as cereals, rice and vegetables.
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