The Syngenta Group is keenly aware of its responsibilities towards the sustainability of our planet. For the company, as leading agricultural business and known for its solutions towards crop protection, this means playing their part in producing more and better quality food and to drive a better, greener recovery of the environment.
The commitments in Syngenta’s new Good Growth Plan will help the company achieve its objectives despite ongoing challenges, particularly climate change, and new ones, such as Covid-19.
“As Syngenta South Africa, we regard ourselves privileged to be in and of Africa, the continent that holds the key to global food security. With more than 60% of the world’s arable land, Africa has the potential to help produce the additional 50% food needed globally in 2050. Yet, currently it produces only 13% of its own food needs and is home to more than half of the world’s population facing food insecurity,” says Antonie Delport, who heads up Syngenta in South Africa.
The reset button has to be pushed, not only for the sake of the people of Africa, but for the entire world.
The sustainable reset of agriculture in Africa will help eradicate hunger and poverty and attain the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. It can be achieved by:
1) Helping farmers, including smallholders, increase productivity sustainably;
2) Enabling access to finance;
3) Helping farmers fight climate change and building resilience to its impact; and
4) Free and fair market and trade opportunities.
Producing more, sustainably
Syngenta equips farmers with the necessary inputs, innovation and training to help them produce more, sustainably. In Africa, the company has trained over 500 000 farmers on health and safety and good practices so that agriculture and biodiversity flourish together.
“Here in South Africa, our specific focus is on training farmworkers to use our products safely, in the interest of the health of people, animals and the environment. We do this through hands-on training events on farms, distribution of information through our agents and the publication of training material and educational articles,” adds Delport.
Free market solutions
Trade can be a great engine for growth and sustainable development if we allow free market solutions to deliver benefits for all, so that farmers have opportunities to sell their products. That requires tariff and non-tariff barriers to be removed and simple common rules and standards where possible.
To this end, Syngenta strongly supports initiatives like the African Continental Free Trade Area. The company also stands in solidarity with Africans who are concerned about rising global protectionist trends that limit market opportunities, including deviations from international food standards.
Helping farmers fight climate change
Climate change has increased the frequency and intensity of natural disasters and exacerbated pest infestations.
Syngenta has a strong focus to help farmers fight climate change, for example, by equipping them with good agronomic practices that help keep carbon in the soil. In addition, the company is known for providing pest control solutions at all stages of the crop cycle, from high-quality seeds that are better able to withstand fall armyworm, to seed treatment and crop protection.
In South Africa, Syngenta has branched out into financial solutions to help de-risk climate change and help farmers become more resilient to its impact:
- AgriClimeTM is a financial solution through which Syngenta shares the risk of yield losses caused by drought with the producer. The scheme allows producers to reclaim a portion of their Syngenta purchases – in cash – at the end of a low-rainfall season.
- CultiVault™ is a Syngenta spending account that enables producers to invest in top Syngenta technology, by giving them the flexibility to manage their input costs according to available cash flow.
Syngenta remains at the forefront of agricultural technology, this is indicative of its most recent breakthrough is its ADEPIDYN™ technology, a new active ingredient for broad-spectrum fungal control.
Syngenta South Africa will continue working with farmers and its partners to achieve the sustainable reset of agriculture that Africa needs to feed itself and the world better and more sustainably.