South America’s crop protection market has grown steadily as rising populations have led to greater food demand, and is now said to be on the order of US$14 billion (approximately 25% of the world’s crop protection market). In 2015 Sumitomo Corporation founded SASA, an crop protection regional headquarters company for South America, subsequently putting in place a five-country (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru) crop protection sales network and pursuing integrated regional operations. SAPY’s establishment will reinforce SASA’s business foundations and help further improve agricultural productivity in South America.
Paraguay is South America’s third-largest soybean producer after Brazil and Argentina (and the world’s sixth-largest), and the crop protection market is expected to continue growing as cultivated area and the use of specialty crop protection products (herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides) increase. SAPY will enhance its product portfolio by promoting the introduction and development of new crop protection products being developed by Japanese crop protection companies and will provide customers with quality services by utilizing the SASA’s business knowledge of crop protection for soybeans. The aim is to expand sales to US$25 million over the next five years.
Sumitomo Corporation’s crop protection business got its start in crop protection export trading activities with Japanese manufacturers in the 1970s, and it has helped improve the productivity and efficiency of agriculture in numerous countries. Its current strategy is to become more deeply involved in the downstream sectors of value chains, and it is engaged in the distribution in more than 30 countries mainly in Europe and the Americas. Sumitomo Corporation is also working to expand its business scope and earnings by, for instance, acquiring agricultural material retailers in Brazil, Romania, and Ukraine.
The Sumitomo Corporation Group through SAPY will be promoting exports of Japanese crop protection companies’ products as well as meeting the rising demand for crop protection products in Paraguay.