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Syngenta to step up agricultural sector investment
Last Updated: 2017-11-15 09:22 | China Daily
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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 Chinese-owned 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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