Having dealt with unparalleled upheaval because of the COVID-19 pandemic, close to 72% of farmers in India, USA, France, China, Brazil, and across Africa are worried about the impact of climate change on crop yields, animal health and their ability to do business over the next five years. These farmers are unanimous that their businesses have been hit significantly by lockdown, yet they believe addressing climate change remains an immediate priority. These insights are based on a recent global survey undertaken by the Ipsos MORI on behalf of Syngenta.
In keeping with the expectations of farmers, Syngenta has launched a new Good Growth Plan which has placed the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss at the core of agriculture’s recovery from the economic and social effects of the COVID-19 restrictions. With fresh commitments to reduce agriculture’s carbon footprint and to help farmers deal with the extreme weather patterns caused by climate change, the company has committed to invest $2 billion in sustainable agriculture by 2025 and to deliver two technological breakthroughs to the market each year.
Good Growth Plan in India
Rafael Del Rio, Managing Director, Syngenta India Limited said that “the plan is particularly relevant to India as agriculture is the mainstay of the region’s economy and provides employment to more than 52% of its population. By linking up this initiative to the Cutting Edge and Sustainable Solutions, we have set ourselves specific targets related to improving resource efficiency, rejuvenating ecosystems and revitalizing rural communities in India.”
Dr. KC Ravi, Chief Sustainability Officer, Syngenta India Limited said “Our philosophy and priorities have constantly been on addressing the challenges facing India and Indian agriculture. We have established valuable partnerships with growers and partners with a focus on making farming sustainable and farmer safety a reality. India continues to hold great promise for Syngenta, and we are now embarking on a new journey with the second phase of the Good Growth Plan. In the first phase of the plan, we reached out and trained 7.4 million farmers and 2.5 million smallholders on the safe and sustainable use of pesticides. We partnered with major value chain companies and are working with them on sharing best practices to produce the crops in a sustainable way.
Under the six commitments, the team at Syngenta initiated Soil Analysis Programs and have trained growers on the importance of soil health and the optimum use of fertilizers, covering 7870 hectares across India. As part of the biodiversity commitment, Syngenta initiated a project Operation Pollinator in 2017 which helped in boosting the number of pollinating insects on commercial farms. The company partnered with an NGO ISAP to educate and train growers on pollinator safety programmes in Karnataka.
The new Good Growth Plan has specific commitments in four major areas:
1) Accelerating innovation for farmers and nature;
2) Striving for carbon-neutral agriculture;
3) Helping people stay safe and healthy; and
4) Partnering for impact.
Syngenta has also committed to reducing the carbon intensity of its operations upto 50% by 2030 to support the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
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