|By PR Newswire||
|September 18, 2013 11:00 PM EDT||
BASEL, Switzerland, Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Syngenta today announced six commitments to address the global food security challenge. The Good Growth Plan has specific, ambitious and measurable targets which focus on boosting resource efficiency, rejuvenating ecosystems and strengthening rural communities:
- Make crops more efficient: Increase average productivity of the world's major crops by 20 percent without using more land, water or inputs
- Rescue more farmland: Improve the fertility of 10 million hectares of farmland on the brink of degradation
- Help biodiversity flourish: Enhance biodiversity on 5 million hectares of farmland
- Empower smallholders: Reach 20 million smallholders and enable them to increase productivity by 50 percent
- Help people stay safe: Train 20 million farm workers on labor safety, especially in developing countries
- Look after every worker: Strive for fair labor conditions throughout our entire supply chain network
Mike Mack, Chief Executive Officer of Syngenta, said: "We have always been acutely aware that our business can only grow if we ensure that farming is carried out in a sustainable way. We continuously seek to bring this awareness to life through our focus on land, technology and people. We now need to take our contribution to a new level and this is the driving force behind the commitments announced today."
The Good Growth Plan reflects Syngenta's belief that agricultural productivity must increase in order to feed a global population which is currently increasing by 200,000 every day. At the same time, farmland is being depleted through urbanization and soil erosion while water resources are under increasing pressure. Rural communities – those responsible for growing food – are often trapped in poverty.
At a series of launch events around the world, Syngenta will today meet with opinion leaders to discuss these challenges and set out the company's contribution to help tackle them.
Extensive research has revealed a widespread societal view that farming needs to become more responsible. While governments are seen as primarily accountable for ensuring reliable food availability, Syngenta believes it is incumbent on business to play a larger role in fostering a long term approach to food security. This means using our substantial investment in R&D to advance technologies that not only protect but also enhance the environment and benefit rural communities.
Mike Mack continued: "Delivering on these commitments won't be easy given the conflicting views of society on agriculture and food production. The Good Growth Plan represents our collective commitment as a company to do things differently and better. We know we can't solve the challenges alone which is why we are bringing together stakeholders from across the world to share our intent and to benefit from their input."
For more information on The Good Growth Plan go to www.goodgrowthplan.com
Notes to the Editor
Research: The Agricultural Disconnect
Informed publics in all countries believe that producing more food for a growing global population will be an important challenge in the next decade. However, views on agriculture and food production are conflicting:
- Openness to the use of technology but dislike of pesticides, fertilizers and GMOs
- Recognition that increased production will lead to greater water scarcity but a belief that more water and land will be needed in agriculture
- Opinion that large scale farming has the greatest potential to meet demand but a belief that organic, local and urban farming should take priority
- Belief that food imports are acceptable but that each country has the capability to be self-sufficient
- Opinion that ensuring an adequate food supply is the responsibility of government rather than farmers or business
Syngenta is one of the world's leading companies with more than 27,000 employees in over 90 countries dedicated to our purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to our customers we help to increase crop productivity, protect the environment and improve health and quality of life. For more information about us please go to www.syngenta.com.
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SOURCE Syngenta International AG