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ESCAGENETICS EXPANDS ITS TRUE POTATO SEED PROGRAM TO THE UKRAINE

 SAN CARLOS, Calif., May 17 /PRNewswire/ -- ESCAgenetics Corp.'s (AMEX: ESN) subsidiary, TPS Products Co., has entered into a three-way collaboration with its Indian producer/distributor, Kalyani Agro Corp. Pvt. Ltd. (Kalyani), and the Ukrainian Institute for Potato Research for a comprehensive evaluation of the company's true potato seed system for the production of disease-free hybrid seed tubers as a lower-cost alternative to the current seed tuber production system.
 The Ukraine is a major factor in world potato production. It is virtually the sole producer of certified seed tubers for the former USSR, which in turn is the largest potato producer in the world, followed by China, Poland and India. Certified tuber seed production in the Ukraine requires 1.75 million acres, that meets the tuber seed needs for 4.25 million acres of consumable potatoes in the Ukraine and 17 million acres of consumable potatoes in the former USSR.
 ESCAgenetics' subsidiary, TPS Products Co., entered into producer/distributor agreements in India with Kalyani Agro in July 1992, and in Spain and Portugal with an Asgrow Seed joint venture company, Complejo Asgrow Semillas S.A. (CAS), in November 1992. Asgrow Seed is a subsidiary of the Upjohn Co.
 According to Dr. Raymond J. Moshy, president and chief executive officer of ESCAgenetics, "The importance of these alliances cannot be underestimated. The collaboration with Kalyani Agro Corp. in the Ukraine, together with our collaboration in India, targets a significant part of the world potato market and is a measure of the untapped potential of our true potato seed system." He continued, "Our alliance with Asgrow Seed in Spain and Portugal has as its objective evaluation and demonstration of the agricultural and economic benefits of the hybrid seed tubers produced from TPS hybrids, as well as their suitability for sale in the fresh market and for processing. The end result is registration in Spain and Portugal which permits their sale in the European Common Market."
 Potato is a universal table food throughout the world and ranks next to wheat, rice and corn as a major food crop. The potato's notorious susceptibility to disease precludes many sub-tropical and tropical countries from having domestic tuber seed production. In temperate regions, seed tuber production is costly and the perishable, disease- prone tubers present considerable risk to the seed tuber producer as well as to the farmer. TPS, which is disease-free, stable and easily stored, is produced in Chile and is designed to produce disease-free hybrid seed tubers in tropical as well as temperate environments.
 In a related event, the company also announced that Mario S. Sepulveda, general manger of TPS Products Co., was made a vice president of ESCAgenetics Corp. According to Sepulveda, "The TPS system is a lower-cost, more reliable alternative system to produce disease-free hybrid seed tubers as compared to the current vegetative propagation methods used worldwide. The collaboration in the Ukraine with our Indian partner, Kalyani Agro Corp., as well as our thrust into the European Common Market, represent giant strides forward for the 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- 5/17/93
 /CONTACT: Dr. Raymond Moshy, president and chief executive officer of ESCAgenetics, 415-595-5335/
 (ESN)


CO: ESCAgenetics Corp.; TPS Products Co.; Kalyani Agro Corp. Pvt. Ltd.;
 Ukrainian Institute for Potato Research ST: California IN: SU:


GT-SG -- SF005 -- 8991 05/17/93 08:08 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 17, 1993
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