Syngenta, CIMMYT partner to advance wheat research

Syngenta has announced 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 most internationally traded food crop and the single largest food import in developing countries.

The agreement will entail joint research and development in the areas of native and GM traits, hybrid wheat and the combination of seeds and crop protection to accelerate plant yield performance. “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 COO 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.”

"Global wheat production is increasing at only 0.9 percent 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 percent 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."

The agreement will leverage Syngenta‟s highly developed 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.

Public-private collaboration is essential for advancing agriculture to meet global challenges such as food security, climate change, natural resource depletion, and access to technology. CIMMYT and Syngenta are committed to working with each other and all interested stakeholders to find solutions to these significant challenges.

Wheat is a key crop for Syngenta; this partnership will strengthen the company‟s global presence and reinforce its position as a leader in the worldwide commercial wheat seeds market. This market is expected to increase in value as new technologies are introduced.

For CIMMYT, the partnership will strengthen its 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.

In August 2009, the Syngenta Foundation launched a Ug99 stem rust resistance research partnership with Syngenta and CIMMYT to facilitate the development of durable rust resistance. For more information about Syngenta please go to http://www.syngenta.com. For more information about CIMMYT, please visit http://www.cimmyt.org.

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