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Land O’Lakes buys majority stake in Villa Crop Protection

US agribusiness giant Land O’Lakes, Inc. has bought a controlling 52.5 per cent stake in South Africa’s Villa Crop Protection

This is Land O’Lakes’ first major commercial investment in Africa, joining both the companies’ portfolios of productivity-enhancing crop input products and services to help all sizes of farms improve their yields in a sustainable fashion.

According to the agreement, the existing Villa Crop Protection management team will continue to lead the business, while people and product expertise from the crop inputs business of Land O’Lakes, WinField Solutions, will support and assist operations.

Chris Policinski, president of Land O’Lakes, Inc., said, “We look forward to bringing proven products from our WinField business to the South African market and investing in the research and development efforts that will provide new products to local growers that help produce more food, more sustainably.”

Other than bringing proprietary products, services and insights delivered in the US under the WinField brand to complement Villa Crop Protection’s portfolio in the South African market, Land O’Lakes will also develop new, comprehensive solutions designed specifically for the needs of local growers.

Villa Crop Protection plans to expand the reach of its Villa Academy Training Institute with help from Land O’Lakes, to provide training courses for the agricultural industry both locally and in the rest of Africa. The institute equips agriculturalists, producers and sales people with the latest knowledge, scientific facts and experience in the field of crop protection to help optimise their crop production using fewer resources.

Andre Schreuder, managing director of Villa Crop Protection, said, “We are positive that this deal will enhance our capabilities, build on distinctive and complementary product offerings and bring new technologies, international insights and Land O’Lakes’ years of value-added agricultural knowledge to help meet local growers’ needs today and into the future.”