$230mln crop protection research centre planned in China

Syngenta Group, the Swiss agrichemical giant owned by ChemChina, is to build a $230 million research and development centre in the Chinese city of Nanjing, expanding its footprint in one of the world’s top users of pesticides.

The R&D facility will focus on biologicals, digitalisation and big data for agriculture, the company said in a statement. Syngenta had about 7% of China’s crop chemicals market in 2018 and claims to be the market leader.

China has been trying for years to reduce the use of chemicals on its heavily polluted soil. Syngenta is increasing its focus on biologicals, or natural solutions to fight pests and diseases, recently acquiring an Italian firm specialising in the area.

State-owned ChemChina, which bought Syngenta for $43 billion in 2017, last year merged the Swiss firm with Israel’s ADAMA and the fertiliser and seed business of Sinochem, another of China’s state-owned chemical firms.

The company is planning to IPO before the first half of 2022. 

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