Ceres awarded Brazil government loan and grant to enhance sorghum and sugarcane development programs
Ceres, Inc. , an agricultural biotechnology and seed company, will enhance its product development programs in Brazil and expand its development activities in biotech traits for sorghum and sugarcane over the next four years. The programs will now be funded in part under the Brazilian government’s PAISS Agricola initiative, which promotes agricultural innovations in sugarcane as well as other energy crops.
Under the PAISS program, Ceres is eligible for a multi-year credit facility of up to 75.4 million reais, or approximately US$34 million, at a government-subsidized, preferential interest rate. Receipt of the loan will be subject to customary diligence, documentation and closing conditions, and will require guarantees to be provided by or obtained by Ceres.
The company was also awarded 10 million reais, or approximately US$4.5 million, in the form of non-repayable grants to be drawn over four years. Ceres expects to complete the application and grant award process by the end of calendar year 2014.
The funding will allow us to accelerate our product development programs in Brazil and will extend our capital resources as we continue to develop the commercial markets for our technology and products.—Paul Kuc, Chief Financial Officer of Ceres
The PAISS project is jointly managed by Brazil’s national development bank, BNDES, and by the government’s research financing agency, FINEP. The competitive application process included over 60 proposals. Ceres was one of only five organizations to be selected for both a loan and a grant.