Increase biodiversity on 3 million hectares of agricultural land every year. This is the goal of Syngenta, one of the main global players in agriculture, which on the occasion of World Biodiversity Day reaffirms its constant commitment to safeguarding the environment. The primary objective of the company is to reconcile agri-food productivity with the protection of the complexity and genetic richness of agricultural species, both cultivated and wild. The loss of biodiversity is a major concern around the world due to the significant impact it causes on the entire agri-food system. Globally, in fact, it is estimated that over 75% of food crops depend to some extent on pollination by insects and other animals, for an economic value that is estimated to be over 150 billion euros per year. Responsibility for the use of natural resources and environmental protection in agriculture does not lie solely with farmers. Syngenta works in collaboration with agricultural producers and organizations around the world to research and promote responsible agricultural techniques, applying its own multifunctional land management model, based precisely on the enrichment of biodiversity, to ensure fertile soils and the presence of pollinators. “The first step, when you want to pursue sustainable, efficient and functional agriculture is to take care of the territory that hosts the fields, the ecosystems that compose it and the health of the soil”, says Riccardo Vanelli, CEO of Syngenta Italia . “It is therefore natural that Syngenta is committed, at the forefront, to protect and promote biodiversity.” “With the first The Good Growth Plan, launched in 2013, we have achieved important goals: through 366 projects in 41 countries, we have improved biodiversity of 8.2 million hectares, exceeding the goal of 5 million we had set for 2020. With the second edition of The Good Growth Plan – adds the CEO – we have set ourselves even more challenging goals and, only in 2020 , we have activated 57 projects in 27 countries that have improved the biodiversity of 1.7 million hectares. Our goal is to increase biodiversity on 3 million hectares of agricultural land every year ”. The main projects that the company carries out to protect biodiversity and soil health are ‘Operation Pollinator’, aimed at enriching biodiversity, supporting the ecosystems that are the basis of fertile soils and pollination, the regenerative approach of agriculture, and Green Cover Crop, which improve soil health and prevent soil erosion, through sustainable agricultural practices. Born in 2001, Operation Pollinator is based on the sowing of the field edges of essences rich in nectar and pollen that increase the population of pollinating insects, essential for more than 80% of European crops. These areas, in addition to constituting an alternative food source for useful insects and representing a safe haven for small mammals and birds, allow to improve land management, increase soil fertility and their biodiversity, protect waterways. and limit the phenomenon of runoff, a fundamental aspect for maintaining soil fertility. According to independent audits carried out every three years, in the areas where it was implemented, Operation Pollinator helped to increase the local population of bumblebees (6 times), butterflies (12 times) and useful insects on the ground (10 times). Over the years, the project has evolved thanks to specific collaborations with universities and research institutions that have been able to produce variants suited to the different characteristics and needs of the application areas with the aim of supporting farmers by providing them with the solutions necessary to improve profitability. of their work and, at the same time, make farms more sustainable.Syngenta also supports regenerative agriculture techniques to create habitats and food resources for pollinators and other beneficial insects, as well as for small mammals, so as to improve soil biodiversity agricultural. By regenerative agriculture we mean a series of practices that allow to ‘regenerate’ the soil, enriching it and making it capable of producing healthy and quality food, while preserving its biodiversity. Furthermore, this can significantly contribute to combating climate change and promotes food security by restoring the soil, preserving its organic matter and biodiversity and at the same time reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. For Green Cover Crop we mean the burial in the soil of crops that do not give rise to a production but serve as a ground cover so as not to leave it naked during periods of non-cultivation. In this way, vegetation cover is always guaranteed between one production and another to improve the sustainability of the production process, allowing the potential of the ecosystem to be used in favor of production. income, brings numerous benefits for the soil: improvement of fertility, containment of surface erosion and contamination of surface water, increase in biodiversity, improvement of the soil structure, fight against weeds.
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