Syngenta Introduces Tropical Sugarbeet for Food and Biofuels

Published online: Aug 29, 2007 PR Newswire
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BASEL, Switzerland and MUMBAI, India,--Syngenta has introduced sugarbeet in India for cultivation in tropical climatic conditions. Tropical sugarbeet brings significant agronomic, environmental and output advantages to Indian farming and the Indian economy. The beet delivers similar output yields to sugar cane and can be used both for processing sugar for food and conversion to bio-ethanol. The new sugarbeet can be grown in relatively dry areas with substantially less water than typically required by sugarcane. It is faster growing and can be harvested after five months allowing farmers to grow a second crop on the same land, thus increasing agricultural output and raising farmer income. Syngenta is engaged in two tropical sugarbeet projects: -- Sugar for food: at Ambad near Jalna, Maharashtra, Samarth Cooperative Sugar Mill has commissioned a pilot plant for processing tropical beet in co-operation with the Vasantdada Sugar Institute. First harvests delivered the expected high yield of top-quality sugar; -- Sugar for fuel: at Kalas, near Pune, Syngenta co-operates with over 12,000 farmers linked to Harneshwar Agro Products, Power and Yeast Ltd, which built and operates a bio-ethanol production plant processing Syngenta tropical beet. The faster growth of tropical beets increases annual ethanol output over sugar cane. Development of tropical sugarbeet took over ten years, building on Syngenta's extensive breeding know-how and technology base. The company will explore use of tropical sugarbeet in other tropical regions with poor soil conditions. Further information is available at CONTACT: Media, Medard Schoenmaeckers (Switzerland), +41 61 323 2323, or Sarah Hull (US), +1-202-628-2372; Investors, Jonathan Seabrook, +41 61 323 7502, or +1-202-737-6520, or Jennifer Gough, +41 61 323 5059, or +1-202-737-652, all for Syngenta