Syngenta’s Tropical Sugar Beet Receives World Business and Development Award

Posted on 29 September 2008. Filed under: Agriculture |

Basel, Switzerland, Syngenta announced that yesterday it received the 2008 World Business and Development Award (WBDA) for the development and successful introduction of a new sugar beet that can be grown under tropical climate conditions and brings significant advantages to farmers, the environment, the sugar and ethanol industries and the economy.

The WBDA, presented by the United Nations Development Program, the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Business Leaders Forum, acknowledge the contribution of the private sector to help achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. The award recognized Syngenta’s tropical sugar beet as “an example of technological innovation that helps increase sustainable agricultural productivity to meet the world’s growing demand for food, feed and fuel”.

“We are very proud of this achievement. It is a reminder of the importance of the work we do in addressing the challenges of feeding a growing population and finding alternative energy sources” said Martin Taylor, Chairman of Syngenta. “Tropical sugar beet is also a good example of sustainable agriculture, since it improves land use and helps water management. It also illustrates how Syngenta works in partnership with agriculture in developing countries around the world”

About tropical sugar beet

Tropical sugar beet can be grown in relatively dry areas as it requires substantially less water than sugar cane. The beets are also faster growing, allowing farmers to grow a second crop on their land in the same period as sugarcane crops take to mature. This increases farmers’ productivity and income, bringing significant benefits also to the agricultural sector of developing markets. Tropical sugar beet delivers similar output yields to sugar cane and can be used both for processing sugar for food and conversion to bio-ethanol. An alternative to cane, it supports biodiversity when used in areas with extensive sugar cane monocultures.

It took Syngenta 11 years to develop tropicalized sugar beet. In 2007, the beet was successfully introduced in India. In the State of Maharashtra, for example, Syngenta helped a cooperation of more than 12,000 smallhold farmers to build and operate a bio-ethanol production plant that runs on Syngenta tropical beet. In Colombia, the building has started of two beet-to-ethanol plants, which are expected to start processing tropical sugar beet in 2009.

Syngenta is currently conducting adaptation trials in many other tropical countries such as China, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, Kenya, South Africa, Ethiopia, Brazil, Peru, Mexico and in the USA.

For further information and pictures:

Footage material can be downloaded under:

About Syngenta

Syngenta is a world-leading agribusiness committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology. The company is a leader in crop protection, and ranks third in the high-value commercial seeds market. Sales in 2007 were approximately $9.2 billion. Syngenta employs over 21,000 people in more than 90 countries. Syngenta is listed on the Swiss stock exchange (SYNN) and in New York (SYT). Further information is available at

Syngenta Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This document contains forward-looking statements, which can be identified by terminology such as ’expect’, ’would’, ’will’, ’potential’, ’plans’, ’prospects’, ’estimated’, ’aiming’, ’on track’ and similar expressions. Such statements may be subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from these statements. We refer you to Syngenta’s publicly available filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for information about these and other risks and uncertainties. Syngenta assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changed assumptions or other factors. This document does not constitute, or form part of, any offer or invitation to sell or issue, or any solicitation of any offer, to purchase or subscribe for any ordinary shares in Syngenta AG, or Syngenta ADSs, nor shall it form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract therefore.


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7 Responses to “Syngenta’s Tropical Sugar Beet Receives World Business and Development Award”

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[…] “Tropical Sugar-beet.”  This crop was developed by a breeder for the global company, Syngenta, over more than a decade.  It is now an amazingly productive crop that can be used for either food […]

Can I be involved in the trial growing of sugar beets in Kinagop area?


I would like to buy about 1000 TSB seeds. How do I do this?

I have started a demonstration project with the Tropical Sugar Beets in Oxnard, Ca. They are thriving in this Coastal Climate and will be ready to harvest at the end of December. I have plans to use almost entirely solar energy to distill the bioethanol and molecular sieve technology to remove the last traces of water. The product is expected to be more than 99 % pure ethanol and quite suitable for blending with non leaded fuel. This might be a way to stretch petroleum derived gasoline since there are about 20 million vehicles in L.A. which is about 50 miles south. There is a suprising large amount of ag land between Oxnard and San Luis Obispo. Thousands of tons of ordinary sugar beets were grown here but the industry folded when the sugar industry moved to South America.

We are encountering some pest problems in growing of tropical suagr beets in Bangladesh. Our seeds have been provided by Syngenta India. To whom should we contact to consult regarding this problem?

-Dr. Md. Shamsur Rahman
Senoir Scientific Officer
Bangladesh Sugarcane Research Institute

Good afternoon,

I want to plant sugar beet in a green house in Bungoma town, Western Kenya. The demand is high in Super markets. Where can I get the Syngenta seeds. Which colour is the sugar beet, is it red or white ? Is it hybrid, what is the approximate maturity days ?


Alfred Okhoba

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