Using research and development to improve agricultural productivity
A Syngenta case study

Page 1: Introduction

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The population of the Earth is growing at a fast pace. In 1950, 2 billion humans lived on the planet. By 2006, this had increased to 6.5 billion and by 2025, the world's population is expected to reach 8 billion people. This growth in population is expected to be in urban areas, not rural. This leads to a higher calorie demand per person associated with dietary changes. It puts a heavy burden...
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Page 2: Sustainable businesses

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Who is Syngenta? Syngenta is a leading global agricultural business committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology whose customers are in the primary sector. Syngenta's goal is 'to be the leading global provider of innovative solutions and brands to growers and the food and feed chain'. Syngenta is a relatively new company formed by the merger of the...
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Page 3: The role of R&D

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As society develops, consumer demands change to reflect different needs. Consumers want to choose from a range of fresh, high quality products. To meet these needs in a sustainable way farmers have to balance environmental concerns with the need to produce food. Within Syngenta research and development are two separate, but closely integrated, functions. Research Research is a systematic...
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Page 4: New product development

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Finding a new compound and bringing it to market is a long process.  Here are the main stages of the R&D process. 1. Identify new areas The research needs to identify areas of opportunity. In crop protection this often starts with chemistry. Chemists look for new compounds which will overcome existing problems or where resistance to existing products has developed in pests or...
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Page 5: R&D and environmental sustainability

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Much of Syngenta's R&D focuses on the development of new products for farmers and growers, but the company also invests in environmental projects. Two examples demonstrate how highly productive, profitable agriculture can go hand-in-hand with biodiversity and environmental sustainability.    SOWAP (Soil and Water Protection) Project Soil erosion is a huge problem in arable...
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Page 6: Conclusion

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With the rapid growth in world populations and developing economies, there are increasing demands upon limited resources. This makes the need for research and development vital for effective sustainability. Syngenta's approach is about providing sustainable solutions. At the centre of its approach to R&D is the use of science.  This creates knowledge and allows Syngenta to develop...
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