Rob Horsch
Vice President for Product & Technology Cooperation, Monsanto Company
Jill Montgomery
Director, Technology Cooperation, Monsanto Company

It is a natural human value to share with others, and there are good business reasons for a company such as Monsanto to share as well. Monsanto has a track record of sharing knowledge and technologies with the public sector. Such technologies include genes that impart traits of agronomic value and the methods required to integrate these into crop species. Knowledge (such as the first working draft of the rice genome) and agricultural know-how (such as conservation tillage methods) have been made available to researchers and farmers around the world. Information and products shared in such ways do not compete directly with our commercial pursuits, but can and do make a profound difference in growers’ lives. Monsanto does not give away finished products, but shares the work of making valuable products available to smallholders at reasonable cost and in appropriate quantity. Over the years, partnerships have been built around the world with nonprofit NGOs, universities, government laboratories, and intergovernmental organizations. Farmers are the most important partner of all, because they know their environment, their problems, and the relevance of solutions better than anyone else does.

Key words: Biotechnology, development, food security, partnership, private, public.