Coordinating Science to Create New Opportunities in the Rice Fields of Indonesia
The application of science to meet global market needs is central to the DuPont mission.
But scientific research doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it has to work hand-in-glove with the businesses to make a real impact. Indeed, "science" itself is a multi-faceted discipline whose various faces need to work in concert to effect real-world change.
Just ask the rice farmers of Indonesia who've seen soaring agricultural yield rates using the environmentally-sound, cost-effective Rynaxypyr® insect control product from DuPont.
Global demand for food is increasing by as much as 70 percent as our planet's population hurtles toward an expected 9 billion people. In developing nations like Indonesia, where ever-growing communities lean on local farmers for sustenance, successful agricultural practices can mean the difference between community and economic growth—and political unrest.
Indonesia's climate is hot, humid and varies little across the seasons, meaning the fight against crop-destroying insects is a year-round struggle. When a 2008 pest crisis devastated the country's rice crop, the agricultural turmoil spilled into the political realm. A solution was urgently needed.
The first seeds of a solution to this problem were sown nearly 10 years earlier, when DuPont scientists read about new research into phthalic diamide insecticide. They began their own research into diamides and soon discovered and developed the chemical basis for a new insecticide.
But rather than taking a years-long linear approach to studying and developing this new chemical compound—followed by an extensive toxicology and environmental review—several integrated DuPont teams instead began working in tandem. The Rynaxypyr® team brought chemistry and biology together with toxicology, environmental and site-of-action studies to fundamentally alter—and streamline—the product development process. For the Rynaxypyr® team, health and environmental research took place side-by-side with efficacy research, and they both pushed forward concurrently.
Once the product was ready, DuPont brought in its knowledge of global insect control application markets. The end result was the fastest speed-to-market process for an insect control product in DuPont history. Customers in new markets gained access to an affordable, low-use crop protection product that produces higher yields with minimal effect on the environment and farm animals.
Rynaxypyr® didn’t stop there. In essence, this innovation represents a whole new class of insecticides, and farmers around the world need the benefits it provides. Today, more than 28 million farmers globally are using Rynaxypyr® products. After launching in Indonesia and the Philippines, Rynaxypyr® is now registered in 109 countries for use on more than 400 crops. For DuPont, the Rynaxypyr® business is a blockbuster as it meets an urgent global need affordably, safely and sustainably. It’s no wonder that sales are more than one billion dollars per year—all for a product that wouldn’t exist whatsoever without the DuPont integrated science approach.