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Switzerland's Syngenta to invest USD 500 million in Africa

Switzerland's Syngenta, the world's largest agrochemicals company, plans to invest $500 million in Africa, with a goal of building a business there that will generate around $1 billion in annual sales over the next 10 years.

African countries have sought to attract foreign investment as they look to boost farm productivity, end poverty and hunger and secure long-term food needs. Syngenta said it believed Africa has the capacity to become a major world food exporter.

"Africa has become one of our strategic growth regions and our aspiration is to contribute to the transformation of African agriculture," chief executive Mike Mack said on Friday.

Syngenta plans to make cumulative investments of over $500 million, which will be used to recruit and train over 700 new employees, develop distribution channel networks, logistics and local production facilities and increase access to technology for smallholders and large-scale farms.

The company, which makes products to kill weeds and bugs as well as genetically modified seeds, plans to reach over 5 million farmers and enable productivity gains of 50 percent or more.

Mack was scheduled to speak at the G8 summit in the United States on how the private sector can help fight hunger and malnutrition for up to a billion people beset by shortages, droughts and rising food prices.

Reuters
18-May-2012

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