Stories tagged: Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture

Scaling Up Agricultural Adaptation through Insurance

14 May 2017

Bonn, Germany

As climate change takes hold, increasingly erratic weather and climate shifts threaten already tenuous agricultural livelihoods and food security in the developing world. Agricultural insurance is an important tool which can help address this risk, by providing indemnity payments to farmers. Join the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) in this one-day conference that will bring together the climate change, agriculture and insurance communities to highlight the value of index-based insurance, draw lessons and identify key challenges for effective scaling up of index-based insurance as a climate change adaptation action. Read more >>

Reaping the Fruit of Training in Thailand

Thailand is a major fruit exporting country. Yet thousands of the country’s small fruit farmers used to struggle with poor yields. In addition, many lacked knowledge about food safety and meeting global standards for export.

Since 2006, the Thai Crop Protection Association (TCPA) has been actively reaching out to smallholders in Chantaburi, a key fruit production province in the east. The objective: to help fruit farmers grow bigger and better quality crops, thereby improving their income. Growers of mangosteen, rambutan and durian used to apply pesticides excessively – and ineffectively. In addition, they had little knowledge about efficient pesticide use, personal safety and environmental protection. The result: low yields, high costs and risks of pesticide exposure.

In partnership with the Department of Agriculture, TCPA trained fruit farmers on Good Agricultural Practices, including environmentally friendly methods to deal with pest infestations and the responsible use of pesticides. To help more farmers export their fruit, the partners also provided training on food safety, including ways to minimize pesticide residue on crops.

Besides fruit farmers, TCPA also worked with the Royal Project Foundation in the country’s rural north to promote more effective crop protection practices in over 275 villages. In addition, TCPA’s Train the Trainer initiative has motivated farmer leaders to educate others, creating a cascade effect and expanding outreach in the country.

Wuttichai Prakosub, 24, grows mangosteen and durian on a six-hectare family farm in Chantaburi, Thailand. He plans to produce mangosteen to meet global standards for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and export the fruit to countries in the European Union (EU).

Currently, I am selling mangosteen just to local cooperatives. What I’d like to do is make more money by working with major exporters and sell my fruit at higher prices to markets in the EU. Training by the TCPA on the responsible use of pesticides has helped me grow higher quality fruit. I have cut pesticide costs by 30 percent and am contributing to food safety. For instance, I refrain from spraying crop protection products 14 days before harvest. The training has also helped me to understand global GAP better. I’m confident we will eventually produce mangosteen that are fit for export.


Visit to learn more about work towards sustainable agriculture across the Asia Pacific region.

Syngenta and CIMMYT Partner to Help Farmers Combat Crop Losses

As part of GCARD 2010, Farming First hosted a session entitled ‘Better Benefiting the Poor through Public-Private Partnerships for Innovation and Action.’ Within the discussions, our panel of experts addressed several case studies that present different ways that partnerships have helped to empower smallholder farmers around the world.

Marco Ferroni – Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture

The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) in 2009 developed a two-year public-private partnership between Syngenta and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) to rapidly identify and map genetic markers for use in wheat resistance breeding against Ug99 stem rust, a fungal disease which can cause devastating crop losses.

The project, funded by the Foundation, will combine Syngenta’s plant genetic profiling expertise with the strengths of CIMMYT’s extensive field research to develop a genetic map of wheat stem rust resistance. This will culminate in the development of wheat varieties that can better resist the disease. The results from this project will contribute directly to the global efforts to combat stem rust, which are coordinated by the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative coordinated by Cornell University. The marker data arising from the research will be published.

This important collaboration brings together complementary skills and addresses a pressing need of farmers in many developing countries.  Ug99 stem rust, which first emerged in Uganda in 1999, is caused by the fungus Puccinia graminis.  It is currently spreading across Africa, Asia and the Middle East with potential to spread further, posing a serious risk to wheat, the world’s third most important food crop.

Along with rice, wheat is a major food crop and is crucial for global food security – it provides 500 kilocalories of food energy per capita per day in China and India, and can provide up to 50 percent of daily calorie uptake in Central and West Asia or North African countries. Wheat yields need to rise 1.6 percent each year to reach required global production levels by 2020, yet investments in wheat technology have lagged far behind those for other cereals.

The scientific objectives of this project are:

1) To identify, characterize and map Durable Plant Resistance Quantitative Trait Loci conferring tolerance to stem rust resistance in wheat.

2) To identify molecular markers flanking the chromosomal regions containing these durable genes to be subsequently used in marker assisted trait selection.

3) To characterise the Sr2 gene complex and understand how this complex of gene(s) interacts with other important genes in wheat.