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ESCAGENETICS EXPANDS ITS TRUE POTATO SEED PROGRAM TO BRAZIL AND URUGUAY

 SAN CARLOS, Calif., July 12 /PRNewswire/ -- ESCAgenetics Corp. (AMEX: ESN) ("ESCA") today announced the expansion of its true potato seed (TPS) program into Brazil and Uruguay with the signing of exclusive producer/distributor (PD) agreements with Yagro Agricola Comercial Ltd., Sao Paulo, Brazil, and with Uruapa S.A., Montevideo, Uruguay. Combined, Brazil and Uruguay represent potato production of 3.5 million metric tons produced on one-half million acres worth an estimated $1 billion annually. Tuber seed requirement is about one-half million metric tons with an annual tuber seed value estimated at $200 million. Yagro Agricola is a Brazilian consortium that is in seed importation, distribution, and potato production and has taken a leadership role in ESCA's TPS hybrids registration trials. Uruapa S.A. is a leader in Uruguay in tuber seed importation and distribution, as well as potato production, and is experienced in the seed registration process.
 According to Mario Sepulveda, ESCA vice president and general manager of ESCA's TPS Products Co., "Our new P/Ds, Yagro and Uruapa, have been carrying out excellent work with our TPS hybrid lines and are involved in the process leading to registration." He continued, "Political and technical support, combined with the two P/Ds' capabilities to apply advanced technology, are key components to rapid, successful implementation in Brazil and Uruguay." Both agreements are typical of the others that the company has signed and provide for three sources of revenue: TPS sales, sharing of cost savings resulting from decreased cost of production of hybrid seed tubers as compared with the cost of conventional seed tubers, and, finally, a royalty on the gross sales of the TPS-derived hybrid seed tubers.
 Potato is a universal food throughout the world and ranks next to wheat, rice and corn as a major food crop. Potato's notorious susceptibility to disease precludes many subtropical and tropical countries from having domestic tuber seed production. In temperate regions, seed tuber production is costly and the perishable, disease- prone tubers, which must be multiplied over five or more years, present considerable risk to the seed tuber producer as well as the farmer. ESCA's true potato seed (TPS) which is disease-free, stable and easily stored, is produced in Chile, and is designed to produce disease-free, lower-cost, high-quality hybrid seed tubers in tropical as well as temperate environments.
 "Our TPS system is a technology whose time has come," said Dr. Raymond Moshy, president and chief executive officer of ESCAgenetics. Collaborative field trials in over a dozen countries have demonstrated the superior economic and product potential of the TPS system." According to Moshy, "The accelerating pace of building a worldwide P/D network, which includes Asgrow Seed in Spain and Portugal, Kalyani Agro Corp. in India, a three-party collaboration in the Ukraine, collaborations and trials in Indonesia, Mexico, Egypt and Japan, as well as several additional early stage negotiations attest to the validity and acceptance of ESCA's TPS system."
 ESCAgenetics Corp. is a publicly traded company that develops and produces high-value, plant-derived products for the pharmaceutical and food industries.
 -0- 7/12/93
 /CONTACT: Dr. Raymond J. Moshy, president and chief executive officer of ESCAgenetics; or Mario S. Sepulveda, general manager of TPS Products, 415-595-5335/
 (ESN)


CO: ESCAgenetics Corp.; TPS Products Co. ST: California IN: AGR FOD SU:

LH-TM -- SF004 -- 0225 07/12/93 08:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 12, 1993
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