US biotech giant Monsanto is to axe 2,600 jobs after a sharp decline in seed sales.
The company, which manufactures genetically modified (GM) seeds, recorded a $495m (£322m) loss for the fourth quarter.
The job cuts, which account for about 12% of the firm’s entire employee base, will be made as part of a restructuring plan over the next 18-14 months.
It estimates the cuts will save the company between $275-$300m (£179-£195m) by 2017.
Monsanto said low maize prices and falling farm incomes had heaped pressure on sales of its GM maize seeds, which have fallen 5.1% to $598m (£390m) this year.
Soya sales fell 19% to $162m (£106m). And sales of Roundup (glyphosate) weedkiller also slumped by about 12% to $1.1bn (£720m).
“When you narrow the lens to the next 12 months, the industry continues to face a challenging macro environment and we’ve moderated our outlook,” said Hugh Grant, Monsanto’s chief executive, in a post-earnings conference call.
Following the announcement, Monsanto shares fell by more than 4% on Wednesday (7 October), but later stabilised.
According to its website, Monsanto employs about 22,000 workers around the world.