Europe’s Agri-food Sector: A Call for Innovation and Sustainability

Europe's Agri-food Sector: A Call for Innovation and Sustainability

By Gaël Hili | Syngenta Europe Est. 4min 25-03-2024 Content-Type: Advertiser Content Advertiser Content An Article that an external entity has paid to place or to produce to its specifications. Includes advertorials, sponsored content, native advertising and other paid content. [Image c/o Syngenta] Euractiv is part of the Trust Project >>> Print Email Facebook Twitter LinkedIn WhatsApp Telegram The agriculture sector is the backbone that helps feed the 450 million people in the EU with healthy, affordable food. Yet, despite its apparent strength, our food markets face unprecedented challenges. Climate change and economic pressures are testing the resilience of our food security. Gaël Hili is the Regional Director of Syngenta Europe. Farmers are increasingly facing the harsh realities of climate change, including extreme weather events like floods, droughts, and wildfires, all of which are impacting crop production. Last year’s European summer, the hottest on record, is a stark reminder of the urgent need to support our farmers and ensure the continuity of this vital sector. And, agriculture stands as a significant source of global greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 22% of the total worldwide emissions. The pressing question is: How can we ensure food security for the growing population while simultaneously curbing greenhouse gas emissions? The answer cannot be to prioritize one over the other; we must achieve both objectives. We believe the solution lies in innovation. These innovations include crops that are resistant to high temperatures and diseases, biological responses to thermal stress, enhanced corn varieties with robust root systems capable of withstanding floods and strong winds, and we are placing significant investments in artificial intelligence and quantum computing to advance soil health. The Agcelerators: Champions of Change In the face of the critical need to boost food production while preserving our environment, a new wave of agricultural innovators, known as Agcelerators, is leading the charge. These change-makers are forging a path to a sustainable agricultural future that feeds humanity while protecting the Earth. Agcelerators is a movement initiated by Syngenta Europe, marrying agriculture with innovation to drive a collective shift toward more efficient, profitable, and eco-friendly farming methods. Our goal is to expedite the development and uptake of sustainable agricultural practices. By sharing compelling stories, best practices, and celebrating achievements of those leading the way, we strive to foster pride and progress in agriculture’s evolution. Meet some of the Agcelerators: Sebastian manages biodiversity research and ecological data analysis, contributing to the LivingGro® initiative, which balances farm productivity with environmental care in Europe and the Americas. Manuella partners with forward-thinking winegrowers in France, merging tradition with innovation to advance the viticulture sector. Elisa advocates for the modernization of Italian winemaking, combining passion and technology to enhance the Prosecco region’s farming efficiency and sustainability. Arturo applies his chemistry and environmental expertise to revolutionize supply chains with sustainable technologies. Aron works on soil health and sustainable tool development with pioneering farmers in the Benelux region, preparing agriculture for the future. Zoltan, a field scientist, focuses on reducing chemical use and enhancing land care, leading to more sustainable farming methods. Dominik integrates digital solutions into Polish agriculture, creating tools that enhance farming practices and community support. Manolis in Greece connects traditional farming with modern technology, tailoring Syngenta’s solutions to farmers’ needs. A Vision for European Agriculture We are poised on the brink of a golden opportunity to redefine European agriculture. The questions we face are pivotal: How do we support agriculture within our planet’s limits? How can we unlock the potential of knowledge and technological innovation? Our planet’s health and our agricultural practices are intertwined, and the challenge, though immense, is within our grasp. Syngenta’s commitment to agriculture as a pivotal industry is unwavering, and we invest $1.4 billion annually in R&D to develop resilient crops and advanced farming techniques. Our efforts focus on enhancing productivity without expanding farmland, promoting precision in crop protection, and championing no-till farming to reduce carbon emissions and improve carbon sequestration. We are also an advocate of regenerative agriculture, encouraging practices that maintain soil health and sustainability and our R&D center in Stein in Switzerland is producing numerous patents and innovations for a more sustainable future. We envision a Europe where agriculture is a model of sustainability and innovation. This is an invitation to join us on a transformative journey towards a sustainable future for agriculture, where growth aligns with nature’s rhythms, ensuring the longevity of our agricultural systems. For more information about the Agcelerators visit Print Email Facebook Twitter LinkedIn WhatsApp Telegram Topics agricultural sustainability Agrifood promoted Sustainable food systems