Agria and PGG Wrightson to Develop High-Profile Agri-Tech Showcase

Posted by on 4 December 2012

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Agria Corporation (NYSE: GRO) (the "Company" or "Agria") and PGG Wrightson (NZSE: PGW) ("PGW") today announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding with China's Administrative Authority for Yangling Agricultural High-Tech Industries Demonstration Zone. The Companies will develop a high-profile agriculture showcase under the name, The China Yangling - New Zealand Agriculture Showcase.

The China Yangling - New Zealand Agriculture Showcase will benefit from Agria and PGG Wrightson's extensive experience and resources in advanced technical development planning, management philosophy and skills, combined with the support of the Provincial and Administrative Authorities governing China's Yangling Demonstration Zone. It will serve as a showcase for Agria, PGG Wrightson and other New Zealand agriculture-related businesses to promote New Zealand's advanced agriculture, science, technologies and innovative services. The Yangling Agricultural High-Tech Industries Demonstration Zone will promote industrialization of agriculture, with an emphasis on international cooperation.

The Yangling Agricultural High-Tech Industries Demonstration Zone is the State-level agricultural high-tech industries demonstration zone in China, known as the "Modern Agricultural City." It is one of ten Technology Industrial Parks in China that is open to APEC countries, and one of the five high-tech zones supported by the Chinese Central Government. The Yangling Agricultural High-Tech Industries Demonstration Zone enjoys special administrative privileges provided by provincial and ministerial authorities. It has become a leading center for world-class agriculture and technological research, the development and promotion of innovations and high-tech achievements.

Alan Lai, Agria's Chairman of the Board, commented, "We are pleased to be further extending our relationship with PGG Wrightson. The China Yangling - New Zealand Agriculture Showcase will serve as a high-profile, strategic platform for us to expand our agri-tech business and broader collaboration between China and New Zealand. This is just the latest development in our efforts to successfully leverage both companies expertise to our mutual benefit and growth. "

Agria and PGG Wrightson Will Cooperate in the Following Areas:

•  To establish a center for the showcasing and promotion of innovative products, advanced agricultural technology, advanced plant and animal species, and advanced agricultural production models;
•  To cooperate on modern agricultural science and technology education, training and exchange, in particular, in practical technical training;
•  To establish standards for modern industrial agriculture, promotion of modern technical services, research and development; and
•  To leverage and apply New Zealand's experience and leading edge in the field of animal husbandry, agricultural co-operative societies, well established service information system

Agria and PGG Wrightson will jointly set up a working committee to coordinate the establishment of the project, with representatives from all parties. The Companies expect to benefit from preferential development policies available in Western China and for state-level high-tech zones. The Administrative Authority for Yangling Agricultural High-Tech Industries Demonstration Zone has agreed to seek support from the Central Government and The People's Government of Shannxi Province. The Administrative Authority for Yangling Agricultural High-Tech Industries Demonstration Zone has also agreed to support the showcase project in the areas of project approval, financing, and land acquisition.

About Agria Corporation

Agria Corporation (NYSE: GRO) is an agricultural company with operations in China and internationally. Agria operates three principal business lines: China seeds, international seeds and agriservices. In China, Agria engages in research and development, production and sale of seed products, including field corn seeds, edible corn seeds and vegetable seeds. Agria owns through Agria Asia a 50.22% equity interest in PGG Wrightson, New Zealand's largest agricultural services company. For more information about PGG Wrightson, please visit www.pggwrightson.co.nz. For more information about Agria Corporation, please visit www.agriacorp.com.

In announcing the transfer, Pristine particularly noted the good strategic fit between Pristine and Wrightson.  Pristine’s outstanding medics and clovers are very complementary to Wrightson Seeds’ current range of quality products in other species, and their strong reputation and wide distribution network will expedite Pristine’s path to market.  
Included in the deal are Pristine’s revolutionary pod holding (ph) medics, Jaguar, Cheetah and Lynx, plus Pristine’s super fast growing balansa clovers Taipan, Viper and Cobra, and the high yielding, highly active lucerne Siriver Mk II.  
These varieties are already very highly regarded by farmers who have grown them, but Pristine notes that the performance reputation established in this way via word of mouth and from neighbours looking over the fence tends to be slow in spread. 
That makes this deal particularly welcome news for an embattled seed industry.  As noted by Pristine CEO Mr Andrew Lake, “Seed-growers have stuck by our varieties because they love their performance.  This will give far more certainty, and the increase in market exposure through Wrightson will benefit both seed-growers and Pristine, as well as the ordinary farmer who buys our varieties,” he said.