Agriculture Industry

Syngenta Global CEO J Erik Fyrwald on a three-day visit to India

03 March 2023, New Delhi: Global CEO of Syngenta J Erik Fyrwald on Thursday said Syngenta is all geared up to celebrate India’s march to Amrit Kaal and its emergence as the world’s 5th largest economy. Fyrwald termed India’s rapid march on the path of progress as inspirational and transformational and said that this has strengthened Syngenta’s resolve to continue to invest itself in the future of the country’s agriculture. 

On a 3-day visit to India, Fyrwald was speaking after dedicating one of the country’s biggest rural wayside markets in Wanaparthy district, Telangana, build under Syngenta’s flagship CSR I-CLEAN (Inculcating Cleanliness, Learning, Education, Awareness and New Habits) program.

Spread over 51,020 square feet, this state-of-art market is built at Rs 3.3 cr in Wanaparthy and will be handed over to the Agriculture Marketing Board for operation and maintenance. This market will cater to over 20,000 farmers by providing them with a safe place to do their business and consumers of over 30 villages and urban areas around this district headquarter.

“Present in the country for 94 years now, India has always been at the core of our focus for its sheer size, diversity, and potential – 40% of the workforce in the country is employed in agriculture. We have consistently worked on addressing challenges facing Indian agriculture. Accordingly, our R&D has been geared toward providing technology to the farming community for enhancing productivity and also reducing input costs for better returns on investment. We invest and innovate to transform the way crops are grown and protected to bring about positive, lasting change in agriculture. Our ambition is to be the most collaborative and trusted team in agriculture, providing leading seeds and crop protection innovations and digital solutions to enhance the prosperity of farmers, wherever they are,” Fyrwald added.

One of the unique features of this marketplace is that it provides exclusive facilities for women farmers including a daycare facility with a baby feeding room. This will ensure that women farmers can focus on their business without being concerned about leaving their children at home.

Susheel Kumar, MD & Country Head, Syngenta India said, “The I-CLEAN project has been a remarkable success. We are glad to be able to contribute to the rural prosperity of Telangana, which has one of the highest rates of agriculture growth at 7.8%. With a slew of impressive programs including Rythu Bandhu Scheme, Mission Bhagiratha, and Drone Certification, the state has made rapid strides and it gives us the joy to become partners in this journey.”

Syngenta’s I-CLEAN program has brought about significant transformation. According to a social-economic impact assessment, the income of farmers who sell their produce at I-CLEAN markets has gone up by 49% as they can spend more time in markets; the improved infrastructure sees increased daily footfall. The facilities like safe drinking water, solar lights, and toilets have improved the livelihood opportunities of local farming communities by about 40%.   

Dr. KC Ravi, Chief Sustainability Officer, Syngenta India, said, “This state-of-art wayside market is equipped with modern amenities including approach roads from the highway, 78 raised platforms, sheds, lights, parking facility, safe drinking water, toilet blocks for men and women, water harvesting, lush green frontage, waste disposal, and children playing area. Market stalls, sheds canteen, a baby feeding room and a crèche facility make this project unique and will be a safe place, especially for women farmers. The facility is expected to impact around 20% of women farmers in the area.”

Fyrwald added, “We play a vital role in the food chain to safely feed the world and take care of our planet. We help farmers manage a complex set of challenges from nature and society. Our approach is to ensure that everybody wins: that farmers are prosperous, agriculture becomes more sustainable, and consumers have safe, healthy, and nutritious food. The wayside market is a step in that direction, and I am glad that with this we hit a quarter century – this being the 25th I-CLEAN market.”  

Apart from Telangana, 24 such I-CLEAN projects are running in Bihar (18), Uttar Pradesh (02), and Karnataka (04) catering to the needs of rural farmers.

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