Syngenta and The Nature Conservancy are teaming up for a new innovation for Nature collaboration that promotes soil health, resource efficiency, and habitat protection in major agricultural regions worldwide.
Officials for these groups have said that the program brings together Syngenta’s research and development capabilities and the Nature Conservancy (TNC) scientific and conservation expertise to scale up sustainable agricultural practices.
Syngenta and TNC officials say this collaboration is intended to demonstrate how a company can reassess its business strategy by incorporating sustainability practices into its decision-making process and engaging with farmers in new ways. The organizations are focusing on exploring investments in new precision agriculture solutions such as: cover cropping, integrated pest management, biological solutions, remote sensing and analytics, improved seed varieties, and other advances. With both power house groups joining forces, TNC and Syngenta aim to identify and test new innovations and technology that can benefit farmers and the environment at a greater pace and scale than either organization could achieve on their own.
“We are delighted to be furthering our work with The Nature Conservancy. We very much value their expertise in conservation and their collaborative and pragmatic approach to helping farmers to incorporate more sustainable approaches on their farms,” said Erik Fyrwald, Syngenta chief executive officer, in a Syngenta news release. “Through this collaboration, we aim to shape our innovation pipeline for greater environmental benefits and to make a step change in agronomic practices for better soil health, resource efficiency, and climate resilience.”
The larger picture of the multiyear collaboration is focused on starting better conservation outcomes through Syngenta’s commercial network and its research and development capabilities as well as partnering with international organizations, growers, and communities. Independent third-party experts will be engaged where appropriate to help assess whether the collaboration is delivering measurable benefit for nature. The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, with its focus on helping small holders and improving their farm productivity and access to markets, will also be integral to the collaboration.
Also as part of the collaboration, Syngenta and TNC are working together to improve resource efficiency, soil health, and habitat conservation in the following key agricultural geographical areas was reported by Successful Farming:
- Argentina: In the Chaco region, work will focus on maintaining biodiversity and resilient ecosystems. The project is designed to restore and maintain forest habitat, which aids in regulating nutrient cycling and pests, creates windbreaks against soil erosion, captures carbon, and improves freshwater quality. Through the collaboration, Syngenta and TNC will develop guidelines for suggested best practices and a toolkit for producers.
- Brazil: The collaboration will generate new research on the agronomic and conservation benefits of protected and reforested habitat to research and disseminate the economic benefits of best agricultural practices with a focus on improving land productivity on degraded pastures.
- China: In cooperation with Chinese enterprises and academia, the focus will be on the health and productivity of soil in arid potato-growing regions. The organizations are assessing and testing the environmental and industrial consequences of continuous cropping of potatoes and working to explore a science-based, sustainable crop rotation model for the region.
- Kenya: In Murang’a county, a densely populated region outside Nairobi, the team is working with farmers to implement practices to capture and store rainwater for off-season irrigation, which provides opportunities to increase farm income. It also helps reduce soil erosion, which benefits soil fertility, yields, and water quality. The project also includes soil testing and agronomic training on Integrated Pest Management practices to help farmers maximize benefits from off-season irrigation.
- United States: Working across Syngenta’s network of agricultural product retailers, the collaboration aims to encourage and incentivize the adoption of conservation practices, such as nutrient management, edge-of-field practices, and habitat preservation, with an initial focus on agriculture in the Saginaw Bay and Western Lake Erie watersheds.
At the beginning of April, Syngenta announced its innovation focusing on bettering the increasing challenges faced by farmers around the world including climate change, soil erosion, and biodiversity loss, as well as changing consumer expectations and views on agricultural technology. Focus areas that were spoke on were according to Succesful Farming are:
- Stressing society and nature-guided innovation.
- Striving for the lowest residues in crops and the environment.
- Investing where it matters most to farmers and nature.
The topics and ideas that are shared by Syngenta and TNC will only help build on “Syngenta’s Good Growth Plan”, which has six major commitments that the groups hope will be achieved by a quickly approaching year 2020. The focus is in areas where improvement very is important to secure the future of agriculture and the planet’s ecosystems.