Global crisis requires cross-border cooperation, says Syngenta CEO

Xinhua News,GENEVA
2020-08-06 19:59

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GENEVA, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- The climate crisis and food shortages followed by the coronavirus pandemic require cross-border cooperation between private sectors and governments, the chief of a leading agricultural technology company has said.

"We are learning that global issues like the coronavirus pandemic and climate change cannot be solved by one government alone, but require global collaboration with private companies and governments across borders," Erik Fyrwald, CEO of Syngenta Group, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, food shortages have emerged as supply chains were disrupted in many countries, adding to the effects of "historic levels of flooding and droughts" that destroy crops, he noted.

In addition to that, "the current desert locust invasion is causing big problems not only in Africa but also in South Asian countries like India and Pakistan," Fyrwald said, adding that the issues call for more global collaboration.

As a leading player in ensuring food security, Syngenta Group is currently present in more than 100 countries, providing financial and market support to farmers especially in the developing world, the business leader said.

"We develop and carry out training programs specifically designed for smallholder farmers in developing markets. In the past four years, we have trained 42 million farmers on how to safely use our products to help them profitably grow crops," he said.

In the long run, the world needs a sustainable and innovative solution, he said. Apart from enhancing R&D centers, Syngenta Group launched a new Good Growth Plan in June committing a 2-billion-U.S.-dollar investment in breakthrough technologies for sustainable agriculture, the CEO said.

"One crucial area for improvement is greater openness for innovative, modern seeds that are able to better deal with extreme weather, safe and efficient crop protection products, and the right coordination between countries," he said.
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