Potential Monsanto/Syngenta Merger Creates Controversy

John DavisAg Group, Agribusiness, Audio, Monsanto, Syngenta

Monsanto-SyngentaAs Monsanto is seeking to acquire Syngenta, company leaders say the deal would lead to better products and innovative solutions for farmers. Monsanto is currently seeking constructive engagement with Syngenta in regards to the potential deal. Monsanto President and COO Brett Begemann says the acquisition would help better meet the world’s agriculture demand.

“We’re seeing a lot of opportunity driven by data science and precision agriculture to help farmers with better, integrated solutions that leverage seeds, trades, crop protection materials to drive productivity,” he said. “This is a real opportunity for us to create better products and solutions for farmers.” Begemann added farmers should see an acceleration of innovation and better integration with precision agriculture. “Farmers are the priority in this.”

But the National Farmers Union (NFU) doesn’t have such an optimistic view. The group is opposing the merger, citing in a resolution passed by its Board of Directors the danger of combining the world’s number one seed company and the number one pesticide company into a single entity, as well as pointing out there has been too much concentration of economic power in ag over the past 30 years and such a merger would be another step in that direction.

“An acquisition of this magnitude should be subject to full review and scrutiny as an anticompetitive acquisition that would substantially lessen competition,” said [National Farmers Union President Roger] Johnson. “As it stands today, the seed sector is dominated by the “big six,” and losing one of those would significantly reduce choice and further concentrate power.”