VENTURES AFRICA – Syngenta, a global firm focused on increasing crop productivity and quality of life, has announced a commitment to build a $1 billion business in Africa over the next 10 years. This commitment reflects the company’s belief that Africa has the resources not only to feed its growing population, but also to become a major world food exporter.
“Africa has become one of our strategic growth regions and our aspiration is to contribute to the transformation of African agriculture. We will deploy our leading portfolio as part of a system-wide approach linking people, land and technology, with the aim of increasing productivity sustainably and thereby reducing poverty. This engagement has been catalyzed by the encouraging steps taken by a number of African governments to stimulate investment, and we intend to play a leading role in public-private collaborations which will be essential to making a planned transformation actually happen on the ground.” says Mike Mack, Chief Executive Officer.
Syngenta will make cumulative investments of over $500 million in support of this undertaking. These include the recruitment and training of over 700 new employees with a high level of agronomic specialization. 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. 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.
Mack continued: “We can bring the knowledge, tools, technology and services farmers need whatever the size of their field or the type of cropping system. Africa needs a fully integrated approach to crops because there is no single technology solution.”
Mack made this announcement in conjunction with the G8 Summit taking place in the United States on May 18-19, 2012. Mack will speak at the G8 Symposium “Beyond L’Aquila: Advancing Food Security at the G8 Summit” on Friday, May 18.
Syngenta is one of the world’s leading companies with more than 26,000 employees in over 90 countries dedicated to boosting agriculture globally. ”Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to our customers we help to increase crop productivity, protect the environment and improve health and quality of life.”