Syngenta provided an update on the progress of The Good Growth Plan one year after its launch in September 2013. The Plan comprises six measurable commitments for the year 2020 to help address the global food security challenge. These include increasing farm productivity while boosting resource efficiency, rejuvenating ecosystems and strengthening rural communities.
Syngenta has established a global network of 893 reference farms and 2,673 benchmark farms. The reference farms are adopting tailored crop protocols with the aim of increasing productivity without using more land, water or inputs. Progress is measured against the benchmark farms by Market Probe, an independent market research firm, and will be externally audited. Data are collected on land productivity as well as the efficiency of fertilizers, pesticides, water and energy on crop production. First results will be available in Syngenta’s 2014 Annual Report to be published in March 2015.
Projects and crop solutions designed to address the commitments are underway in all regions and are supported by broad employee engagement. The scale and scope of these initiatives is being increased through collaborations, including a Soil Leadership Academy partnership with UNCCD and the expansion of relationships with USAID and the Fair Labor Association.
The Good Growth Plan reflects Syngenta’s belief that agricultural productivity must increase in order to feed a global population, which is rising 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, lacking the tools and the access to market that can make their farms viable.
Year one highlights for the six commitments:
1. Make crops more efficient: Increase average productivity of the world’s major crops by 20 percent without using more land, water or inputs.
2. Rescue more farmland: Improve the fertility of 10 million hectares of farmland on the brink of degradation.
3. Help biodiversity flourish: Enhance biodiversity on 5 million hectares of farmland.
4. Empower smallholders: Reach 20 million smallholders and enable them to increase productivity by 50 percent.
5. Help people stay safe: Train 20 million farm workers on labor safety, especially in developing countries.
6. Look after every worker: Strive for fair labor conditions throughout our entire supply chain network.