Monsanto and Bayer said this week that they will spend approximately $16 billion for research and development (R&D) in agriculture over the next six years, with at least half of this investment made in the U.S.
The announcement came after Bayer chief executive officer Werner Baumann and Monsanto chairman and CEO Hugh Grant met last week with President-elect Donald Trump and his team to share their view on the future of the agriculture industry and its need for innovation. The companies continue to await approval of their proposed merger.
“This is an investment in innovation and people that will create several-thousand new high-tech, well-paying jobs after integration is completed -- jobs that will keep America at the forefront of agricultural innovation and that serve U.S. farmers by delivering better products and services faster,” the companies said in a joint statement.
More specifically, the companies said it is an investment in the U.S. heartland, with global seeds and traits R&D for the combined company being headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., along with its agricultural North American commercial headquarters and additional research and commercial locations throughout the U.S. “These high-tech jobs will drive future innovation in agriculture: geneticists, roboticists, satellite imagery specialists, engineers, data scientists, advanced breeders and statisticians,” Bayer and Monsanto said.
According to the companies, the driving force behind the Bayer-Monsanto combination is increasing and accelerating innovation to help growers around the world address challenges like climate change and food security. “This becomes increasingly important as we all work together to feed a growing population in a sustainable way,” they added.
The U.S. is a global leader in the agriculture industry, and the combination of Bayer-Monsanto will underscore that role and ensure that the U.S. retains its pre-eminent position as the anchor of the industry, the companies added.