Tag Archives: Syngenta

BASEL, Switzerland–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Apr 8, 2019–Syngenta announced today that it will accelerate its innovation to address the increasing challenges faced by farmers around the world and the changing views of society.

“Farmers today need to manage climate change, soil erosion and biodiversity loss, as well as changing consumer expectations and views on agricultural technology,” said Alexandra Brand, Chief Sustainability Officer of Syngenta. “There is a clear call for innovation and more action to address these challenges in ways where everybody wins – from growers to consumers and the environment.”

The announcement follows the completion of more than 150 listening sessions worldwide, engaging a broad cross section of views. The result was a much clearer understanding of what society and farmers expect and what sustainable agriculture means to different groups.

Syngenta’s new approach aims to further improve the way crops are grown and protected, and find solutions that address interconnected environmental, societal and economic challenges.

Work will focus on three areas:

Society and nature guided innovation. Society’s views and environmental needs will increasingly become central drivers for innovation alongside meeting farmers’ needs. New products will be developed in consideration of externally verified sustainability principles.

Strive for the lowest residues in crops and the environment. Syngenta stands by the safety of its highly-regulated products and the role they play in protecting food quality and safety. Nonetheless, Syngenta has listened and will work with partners to further reduce residues in crops without impacting farmer productivity, and continue to improve soil health and prevent soil erosion.

Invest where it matters to farmers and nature. Syngenta will collaborate – with farmers, academia and environmental groups – on researching and developing sustainable solutions. And it will report transparently on the progress and outcomes of these investments.

Mrs. Brand said: “There is an undeniable demand for a shift in our industry. This has been the clear message throughout the listening sessions. We will put our innovation more strongly in service of helping farms become resilient to changing climates and better able to adapt to consumer requirements including reducing carbon emissions and reversing soil erosion and biodiversity decline.”

Next steps include further consultation with stakeholders to develop clear targets and metrics against these focus areas, which will be announced later in the year. Work is also underway to build insights from the listening sessions into the next evolution of The Good Growth Plan in 2020. The Plan, which is in its sixth year, is well on track to deliver all commitments.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., USA, – Syngenta researchers recently published a paper in Nature Biotechnology, an international science journal, detailing their discovery of a genome-editing technique called haploid induction editing (HI-Edit™) technology, which ultimately reduces the time it takes to develop commercial crop varieties.

HI-Edit refers to the reproductive process of haploid induction (HI), which occurs naturally in wheat, corn, barley and tobacco, combined with a genome-editing technology such as CRISPR-Cas9. With HI-Edit, breeders can modify crops at various stages in the seeds research and development process without the substantial cost and time associated with introgression, the traditional method of transferring desirable genes from one crop variety into another, which can take up to seven years to fully complete.

“Few commercial crop varieties are responsive to direct genetic manipulation, so until now, we have had to use techniques that take several years and cost millions of dollars,” said Tim Kelliher, Ph.D., Syngenta fellow and lead author of the paper. “With this new method, we can harness the potential of advanced genome-editing technologies to make genetic improvements faster in the varieties growers want.”

While the research conducted to date has focused on field corn and sweet corn crops, there is evidence the technique could be applied to wheat. The team is also working on similar methods for the genus of plants related to cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kale that could eventually lead to breakthroughs in soybeans and tomatoes.

“Our investment in R&D, combined with the talent and curiosity of our researchers, is helping bring innovations like HI-Edit to life,” said Ian Jepson, Ph.D., head of trait research and developmental biology and RTP site business head at Syngenta. “Genome editing is an important tool in the plant breeding toolbox, and discoveries in this area of research are helping us deliver on our mission to help farmers grow more resilient, higher-yielding crops.”

This discovery aligns with Syngenta’s commitment to make crops more efficient, one of the tenets of The Good Growth Plan, Syngenta’s commitment to improve the sustainability of agriculture.

To read the abstract, please visit https://www.nature.com/articles/s41587-019-0038-x.

Join the conversation online – connect with Syngenta at Syngenta-us.com/social.