Syngenta Opens 1st African Seed Research Facility

Syngenta Opens 1st African Seed Research Facility

Front Left to Right: Georg Goeres (Head of Seedcare EAME), 
Marc Bonfils (Technology Lead Seedcare EAME), 
Franz Brandl (Head Global Seedcare Institute)
Back Left to Right: Abraham Vermeulen (Head DFC, Corn and Soybean: AME), 
Wayne Jansen van Rensburg (Technology Manager Seedcare: AME), 
Andreas Leuenberger (Technical Manager Engineering, Stewardship &Training) 
and Antonie Delport (Head Commercial Unit: South Africa).
Photo: GrainSA

8 May 2014. Swiss agribusiness Syngenta this week opened a seed treatment facility — its first in Africa — in South Africa with plans for another in Kenya in two years, Bloomberg reports in BusinessWeek.

Syngenta applies crop-protection chemicals directly to seeds before sowing, which it says protects plants when they are most vulnerable.

The world’s largest producer of crop chemicals, Basel-based Syngenta said it will start a second African seed-treatment research-and-development institute in Kenya in 2016 and it plans to expand in other West African countries in the next five years.

The global seed-treatment market is expected to grow from $2.5 billion to $4.5 billion by 2018, the company said in statement. The company’s first R and D facility on the continent is in Brits, 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of Johannesburg.

The Seedcare facility located at Syngenta’s FF and P in Brits

The Brits unit is Syngenta’s 11th such plant globally. It plans to have 18 by the end of 2016, said Abraham Vermeulen, the company’s regional head of corn, sugar and diverse field crops.

“Kenya is the second-biggest seeds market in Africa,” Vermeulen said. “We will be expanding to West African countries, most probably Nigeria, in the longer term.”

Syngenta said it is investing in South Africa, the continent’s biggest corn producer, to be closer to its customers.

“A farmer that does not have seed-care protection on his plant will likely lose half of his harvest. Treated seeds include cereals such as wheat, soy, corn, sunflower and vegetables, he said.” Vermeulen said.

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