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Syngenta highlighted results for the third year of The Good Growth Plan on 27 March, which comprises six ambitious commitments for 2020 to support the sustainability of agriculture and the development of rural communities
In 2016, Syngenta projects enhanced biodiversity and soil conservation on a cumulative 9.2 mn ha of land, creating rich, connected wildlife habitats in 34 countries. Together, these soil and biodiversity programs cover an area close to the size of Portugal. A key contribution came from the Soja+Verde project in Brazil, where we are working in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) on the restoration of rainforest in agricultural landscapes.
To assess our progress on crop productivity, we collected data from 3,700 farms in 42 countries. This shows that the productivity and resource efficiency of those Reference farms which use our protocols were nearly 4 per cent higher than the Benchmark farms.
In addition, we reached over 16.5 mn smallholders with those participating in our Reference Farms benefiting from an 8 per cent productivity increase. This demonstrates the potential of technology and agronomic training to not only help small holders to feed themselves and their families but also improve their livelihoods. We remain confident of achieving our target of reaching 20 mn smallholders by 2020.
Over the past year, we have also trained nearly 7 mn people in the safe use of our products, bringing the cumulative total to over 17 mn farmers since the plan started – 70 per cent of which are smallholders in developing countries. And we continued to expand our Fair Labor Program which now covers all our seeds suppliers in Latin America and Asia Pacific.
Syngenta Chief Executive Officer, Erik Fyrwald, said “The Good Growth Plan exemplifies the way we do business and, through the data that is now being generated, we are helping farmers to apply best practices and monitor the benefits to the environment and their bottom line. Going forward, we want to evolve the plan further to better understand how farmers can improve the efficiency with which they use water and reduce their carbon emissions. And by continuing to partner with our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders in the food value chain, we will be better able to combine the resources and knowledge required to safely feed the world and take care of our planet”.
The full report including the six commitments can be viewed here.