Syngenta has joined the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research’s (FFAR) Crops of the Future Collaborative as an executive committee participant.
The executive committee includes nine collaborative participants that work with FFAR to govern the consortium, assist with funding allocations and determine the direction of consortium research, FFAR said in its announcement. Syngenta’s involvement furthers the consortium’s ambitious goals while underscoring the company’s commitment to seed research and development (R&D) and sustainable agriculture.
FFAR explained that the Crops of the Future Collaborative is a consortium for industry partners to jointly contribute to large-scale, pre-competitive research projects, fostering a comprehensive approach to address some of agriculture’s most complex challenges. The consortium is pursuing research into how a crop’s genetic information encodes important characteristics such as nutrition, disease resistance, productivity and environmental efficiency. Ultimately, the resulting breakthroughs will create more sustainable food systems benefiting all stakeholders across the value chain, from producers to consumers, FFAR said.
The collaboration builds upon Syngenta’s participation in the consortium’s Leafy Greens Program, a joint effort with researchers at the University of California-Davis, FFAR said. Over the past seven years, Syngenta has supported the university’s research into lettuce genome sequencing to improve nutrition, enhance disease resistance and reduce inputs. This research aims to reduce crop losses and improve farm profitability. In addition to leafy greens, Crops of the Future also will pursue research for corn and cereals and the development of tools and technologies for multiple crops.
“Syngenta is inherently aligned with the mission of Crops of the Future: to accelerate the industry’s ability to develop crops that benefit humanity,” said Michiel van Lookeren Campagne, head of global seeds research at Syngenta. “Global food security is going to require the efforts of more than one company. If we, as an industry, can work together to turn pre-competitive research into actionable innovation, we can maximize our impact and develop crop technologies that promote sustainable food production.”
Making crops more efficient is one of the essential pillars of The Good Growth Plan, the global Syngenta initiative dedicated to improving the sustainability of agriculture, FFAR said.
“Having a global leader like Syngenta as part of this public/private consortium will bolster our efforts to develop more sustainable crops that meet the needs of a growing population,” FFAR executive director Sally Rockey said. “This investment provides Syngenta with the opportunity to leverage their R&D resources with FFAR and a host of other key seed and technology companies to address critical agriculture challenges.”