Syngenta's Commitment to Africa
Syngenta reiterated its commitment to build a $1 billion business in Africa by 2022 at the company’s Crop Demonstration Days that took place in Johannesburg on 6 & 7 September.
The Demo Day event, held at Gallagher Estate in Midrand, was attended by more than 700 guests, including Syngenta’s staff across the Africa Middle East (AME) region as well as agricultural stakeholders and clients. The event profiled Syngenta’s research and development pipeline in its 8 strategic crops, including corn, specialty crops, vegetables, soy, rice, oilseeds, wheat and sugar cane. In each of these crops new technology is in the pipeline that will exceed the $25bn target by the end of the decade.
The company will make cumulative investments of over $500 million in support of this undertaking which reflects a belief that Africa has the resources to feed its growing population and become a major world food exporter. The investment includes the recruitment and training of over 700 new employees. In addition, the development of distribution channel networks, logistics and local production facilities, in collaboration with local partners, will increase access to technology for both smallholders and large scale farms.
Syngenta already has a strong presence in South Africa with commercial, production, and R&D facilities, enabling the company to make a substantive contribution to sustainable agriculture. It also provides an excellent platform from which the company can focus new investment on countries like Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Tanzania.
The target over the 10 year period is to reach over 5 million farmers and to enable productivity gains of 50 percent or more, while preserving the long term potential of the land.
“The drought in the United States has once again highlighted the vulnerabilities of the global food production system. The impact has stretched across the world, including to South Africa where we have seen extremely high maize prices. One of the ways to manage these vulnerabilities is to ensure all African farmers have access to the best knowledge, tools, technology and services.” said Jan Suter, Head of Africa and Middle East at Syngenta.
He told local farmers, industry representatives, agriculture experts and policy makers attending the event: “We want to contribute to the transformation of African agriculture and will deploy our leading portfolio of seeds, seed care, and crop protection products, as part of a system-wide approach, linking people, land and technology. Our aim is to increase productivity sustainably in Africa and thereby help to reduce poverty.”