Syn­genta to step up agri­cul­tural sec­tor in­vest­ment

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By ZHONG NAN and REN XIAOJIN Con­tact the writ­ers at zhong­nan@chi­

Syn­genta, the largest Euro­pean pro­ducer of seeds and crop pro­tec­tion prod­ucts, plans to de­ploy more re­sources and col­lab­o­ra­tion in China’s agri­cul­tural sec­tor to di­ver­sify its prod­uct port­fo­lio and of­fer cus­tomized so­lu­tions over the next five years, ac­cord­ing to se­nior ex­ec­u­tives.

“We look for­ward to col­lab­o­rat­ing even more closely with sci­en­tific in­sti­tutes in the coun­try as a Chi­ne­se­owned com­pany, after be­ing ac­quired by the China Na­tional Chem­i­cal Corp, ear­lier this year,” said Erik Fyr­wald, the com­pany’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer. “We will push for­ward the de­vel­op­ment of agri­cul­tural tech­nolo­gies to make a greater con­tri­bu­tion to Chi­nese agri­cul­ture.”

Ac­cord­ing to Fyr­wald, the com­pany spends $1.3 bil­lion on re­search and de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties ev­ery year.

The Swiss-head­quar­tered com­pany is one of the lead­ing agri­cul­ture com­pa­nies vow­ing to im­prove global food se­cu­rity by help­ing farm­ers max­i­mize crop out­put with lim­ited re­sources.

Syn­genta show­cased its lat­est in­no­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy in biotech­nol­ogy, crop pro­tec­tion and seeds in its veg­etable seeds re­search and de­vel­op­ment farm in Bei­jing this Septem­ber.


An­drew Guthrie, pres­i­dent of Syn­genta China, said agri­cul­ture in China needs to be more sus­tain­able as there is lim­ited land and wa­ter. Also, there is a de­sire to cut car­bon emis­sions.

“By pro­vid­ing bet­ter seeds and more ef­fec­tive crop pro­tec­tion prod­ucts that re­quire lower vol­umes of wa­ter, we can help im­prove pro­duc­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity,” he said.

Dur­ing the first six months of 2017, Syn­genta’s to­tal sales reached $6.9 bil­lion, 2 per­cent lower year-on-year, while sales of new prod­ucts rose 33 per­cent from a year ago, which en­abled the com­pany to par­tially off­set the im­pact of weak mar­ket con­di­tions caused by ad­verse weather and low com­mod­ity prices.

Hu An­gang, direc­tor of the Cen­ter for China Stud­ies at Ts­inghua Univer­sity, said the ac­qui­si­tion of Syn­genta by ChemChina was ben­e­fi­cial for both sides.

“For China, ac­quir­ing Syn­genta will make Chi­nese com­pa­nies more com­pet­i­tive in the global mar­ket and pro­vide them with core tech­nol­ogy,” he said. “After the ac­qui­si­tion, ChemChina is now equipped with the world’s lead­ing re­search and de­vel­op­ment abil­ity in seeds and pes­ti­cides. It will play an im­por­tant role in the coun­try’s food se­cu­rity.”

“China has great po­ten­tial when it comes to agri­cul­ture. For de­vel­op­ing mod­ern and sus­tain­able farm­ing, China needs to use ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies,” said Hu.

China is one of Syn­genta’s ma­jor mar­kets. The com­pany so far has in­vested more than $360 mil­lion in the coun­try and has nearly 2,000 em­ploy­ees.

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