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Syngenta to set up local seed plant in 2016

Swiss agribusiness firm, Syngenta, plans to open a seed treatment plant in Kenya in two years.

This follows hot on the heels of a similar set up in South Africa — the first in the continent — last week.

“Kenya is the second-biggest seeds market in Africa,” said Mr Abraham Vermeulen, the company’s regional head of corn, sugar and diverse field crops.

“As we continuously explore the market in Africa, we will be expanding to West Africa, most probably Nigeria, in the longer term,” he added.

According to Syngenta, the global seed-treatment market is expected to grow from $2.5 billion (Sh212bn) to $4.5 billion (Sh382bn) by 2018.

The South Africa plant is Syngenta’s 11th, and the company plans to set up seven more by the end of 2016.

Syngenta is the world’s third-largest seed maker, serving 10 per cent of the market, according to Bloomberg Industries data.

US-based Monsanto Co. is the world’s largest with 30 per cent of the world market, followed by DuPont Co., — also based in the US — which makes Pioneer genetically modified corn, serving 22 per cent of the market, Bloomberg reports.

Syngenta said its investment in Africa is inspired by demand and the wide customer base.

Investing in the plants means a boost in customer care as the company will pay closer attention to farmers and hopefully help them increase yield.

A farmer without seed-care protection will likely lose half of his harvest.