BASEL, SWITZERLAND - Syngenta announced on April 6 that it has entered into a public-private partnership with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) to focus on the development and advancement of technology in wheat.
The agreement includes joint research and development in the areas of native and genetically modified (GM) traits, hybrid wheat and the combination of seeds and crop protection to accelerate plant yield performance, according to Syngenta.
"Syngenta and CIMMYT are both committed to transforming wheat production worldwide, by creating new technology platforms which set unprecedented standards for yield and quality," said John Atkin, Syngenta chief operating officer, Crop Protection. "We will bring together our complementary assets, capabilities and geographic focus to increase the productivity of wheat in a sustainable way, through cooperation on defined projects. We look forward to linking each other's comparative strengths and advancing technology faster and more efficiently than we could on our own."
According to Syngenta, the agreement will leverage the company's genetic marker technology, advanced traits platform and wheat breeding for the developed world, along with CIMMYT's access to wheat genetic diversity, global partnership network, and wheat breeding program targeted to the developing world.
"Global wheat production is increasing at only 0.9% each year," said Hans-Joachim Braun, director of CIMMYT's Global Wheat Program. "This is a very critical issue as global demand is growing at 1.5% or more annually. Combined with the impacts of climate change, we must avoid the risk of another food crisis and ensure farmers across the world are equipped to meet the demands of a rising world population. Partnerships like this can greatly benefit the world's farmers, rich and poor."
Syngenta's company officials said they expect the partnership to strengthen the company's global presence and reinforce its position in the global commercial wheat seeds market. According to CIMMYT, the partnership will strengthen the center's ability to use world wheat genetic resources and cutting-edge technologies to develop robust wheat varieties for disadvantaged farmers in developing countries and public research systems worldwide.