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Syngenta has significantly increased its engagement in Africa over the past several years. The latest milestone is a new partnership between the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Syngenta Nigeria, which aims to help over half a million farmers to increase agricultural production.
The new partnership in Nigeria with USAID is further evidence of Syngenta’s long-term commitment to boosting African agriculture sustainably. It builds on an existing global MoU(Memorandum of Understanding). The latest partnership advances US President Obama’s “Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative”, which is focused on inclusive agricultural growth through building capacity in the private agricultural sector.
The Nigerian government is particularly focused on disseminating modern agricultural practices and improving the quality of agricultural inputs to re-establish Nigeria's position as the breadbasket of Africa. To this end, the partnership will directly contribute to the Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture's Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA).
Syngenta's long-term commitment to improving agricultural productivity in Africa means we are actively seeking new strategic partnership opportunities to better reach millions of smallholders. We already partner with the World Economic Forum's Grow Africa and Grow Asia initiatives, and have established programs across the African continent over the past few years (see sidebar). The Nigerian partnership reaffirms Syngenta's belief that Africa has the resources not only to feed its growing population but also to become a major world food exporter.
Syngenta has trained over 10,000 farmers in Nigeria so far this year, and through the partnership will multiply its activities to reach thousands more. We will also strengthen the capacity of hundreds of agro-dealers across multiple states and crops, and train them on how to adequately serve the needs of smallholder farmers. Syngenta and USAID will also cooperate on identifying employment opportunities in the agricultural sector for participants of President Obama’s Mandela Washington Fellowship, formerly known as the Young African Leaders Initiative.
Syngenta's Commercial Unit Head Nigeria, Dr. Shachi Sharma, said: "We are looking forward to working with USAID to bring together smallholder farmers and accelerate the development of a retail network. We will also lay the foundations for providing advanced agricultural training to hundreds of thousands of farmers across Nigeria."
Smallholders worldwide play a key role in helping to feed an ever-growing world population and Syngenta is committed to helping them to increase their productivity. Nearly 40 percent (source: FAO ResourceSTAT, faostat.fao.org) of the world's arable land is farmed by small growers. And the step change in productivity that's needed will only be achieved if they, too, have access to the best new technologies.
Through The Good Growth Plan, Syngenta is committed to ensuring that farming is a viable and attractive occupation that will help to create vibrant, productive rural communities. We are doing this by providing tools and training that make agriculture more productive, efficient and profitable. By partnering with organizations such as USAID, we can bring farmers the products and know-how to raise productivity while preserving the long-term potential of their land.