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Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture: Strategy

Case Overview

FSG was engaged by Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) to complete a comprehensive strategy for the Foundation’s investments going forward.

The Challenge

SFSA was a valuable funder and relevant player in its field. It had access to Syngenta technology, expertise in productivity enhancement in poor rural settings, staff competence and an ability to partner locally. As this project began, the world was beginning to understand the role agriculture played in food security, poverty reduction and economic growth. SFSA had new opportunities to leverage Syngenta, and needed a strategy to enhance its impact by defining new areas “where” and “how” it would work.

Approach & Solutions

FSG began by working with SFSA to define the key goals to guide the Foundation’s future direction. SFSA had already defined a preliminary vision for its future strategic direction: “advancing agricultural productivity through market-based solutions.” With this framing in mind, the FSG team analyzed the findings from a previously completed external review, assessed the needs in international agriculture, and reviewed the projects that SFSA had underway. Taken together, these internal and external factors helped to define the role of the Foundation:

  • To lead in facilitating and scaling up approaches that work
  • To excel through the knowledge and expertise made available to partners

The FSG team then developed a potential portfolio of investments that would serve these goals, incorporating the Foundation’s considerable past experience with investments and innovative new approaches. Two intervention areas were identified:

  • Productivity: Including agricultural science and technology for sustainable productivity gains, a better natural resource base, and bio-fortification
  • Markets: Including private-public partnerships, standards and food safety, diversification of the rural economy, and developing functional value chains

In both areas, SFSA’s strategy was to deliver products not offered by others, leveraging the know-how of Syngenta AG. The guiding principle was to develop proof of concept and to provide for scaling-up, leaving replication and larger-scale implementation to others.

Alongside this preliminary portfolio of investment, FSG scoped operational implications for the Foundation. Addressing the operational implications provided practical recommendations that could ensure successful implementation of the strategy and greater long-term impact for the Foundation.

About Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture

The mission of Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture is to create value for resource-poor small farmers in developing countries through innovation in sustainable agriculture and the activation of value chains.

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