IFDC and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) recently signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) focused on supporting agricultural technologies and services to help smallholder farmers increase crop production significantly and sustainably.
Specifically IFDC and SFSA will collaborate on activities related to seed system development of non-hybrid crops. The organizations will promote investments in plant science and product delivery systems (such as strengthened national seed industries) to underpin the goal of increased productivity.
In addition, IFDC and SFSA may cooperate in the provision of business development services, technical assistance and research and development collaboration to realize the objectives of the MoU.
Marco Ferroni, the executive director of the Syngenta Foundation, also is on the board of advisors of the Virtual Fertilizer Research Center (VFRC), which was created by IFDC in 2010 to coordinate the development of the next generation of fertilizer technologies. He and Ian Barker, the Foundation’s head of agricultural partnerships, attended the recent meeting of the Africa Committee of the IFDC board of directors. Ferroni provided an overview of SFSA and discussed the MoU. “There are opportunities for SFSA and IFDC to work together in Africa to better the lives of smallholder farmers across the continent,” Ferroni stated.
In response, IFDC President and CEO Dr. Amit Roy remarked, “I agree with Marco. The Syngenta Foundation’s expertise in seeds, coupled with IFDC’s expertise in fertilizers is a powerful combination. We will seek opportunities to use our respective expertise on behalf of Africa’s farmers.”