Our approach

The Syngenta Foundation operates across sub-portfolios, moving smallholder innovations from incubation through to handover.
Our current sub-portfolios are:

  • Agriservices
  • Risk Management and Financial Inclusion for smallholder farmers, implementing and scaling up affordable agricultural insurance products and risk transfer mechanism to access credit; Our main pages on this topic focus on agricultural insurance in Asia and East Africa.
  • Access to Seeds, which includes investments in plant breeding and technology transfer of new varieties to smallholders; our "Seeds2B" pages tell you more.

Running across these three, and feeding into each of them, is our work in R&D and in Policy.

  • Research & Development includes, for example, our involvement in partnerships for the improvement of tef, cassava and wheat.

For information about our wide-ranging Policy initiatives, please visit the relevant section of this website. Our many publications appear under "Resources".

See also our 2019 working paper on how the Syngenta Foundation defines sustainable agriculture

This 2020 article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review examines how we and other organizations align with corporate social investors, etc.  

Our Vision and Mission

Our vision is a bright future for smallholder farming

Our mission is as follows:

To strengthen smallholder farming and food systems, we catalyze market development and delivery of innovations, while building capacity across the public and private sectors.  

Our Strategy

Take a look at our Strategy 2021-25, including a suite of background documents. 


Improving smallholders' livelihoods

The Foundation works with partners in developing countries and emerging markets. Our aim is to help small farmers become more professional growers. We do this by extending science-based know-how, facilitating access to quality inputs, and linking smallholders to markets in profitable ways. This adds value for rural communities, and sustainably improves food security. 
Smallholders produce part of their own food needs, and a surplus that helps feed their countries and supply international markets. With the right kinds of agricultural technologies and supporting services such as extension, credit, and microinsurance, smallholders could increase their production significantly and sustainably. In the process, they would improve their own food security and that of their communities and countries. ‘Inclusive’ agricultural growth would be promoted, the fundamental basis for equitable economic development.

The Syngenta Foundation focuses on productivity and the inclusion of farmers in remunerative value chains. The focus is on ‘pre-commercial’ farmers, often in semi-arid areas, who display potential for agricultural growth. The Foundation runs initiatives in Africa and Asia, and contributes to the agricultural policy debate worldwide. It works with a wide range of partners operationally and in thought leadership. The Foundation engages, for example, the public sector, international organizations, think tanks, the private sector, other foundations, social entrepreneurs, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). As well as establishing pilot projects, the Foundation also puts major emphasis on successful scale-up.
The Foundation invests in sustainable improvements in farm yields, and helps small farmers earn income from their produce. The productivity of primary production factors such as labor, land, and water is a major concern, as is total factor productivity. Investments in plant science and product delivery systems - such as strengthened national seed industries - underpin the productivity goal. So do credit systems, index insurance, and market links for grains, pulses and high-value products and crops.

We complement our agricultural extension projects with a portfolio of partnerships in advanced crop science. The Foundation additionally works to create ‘enabling conditions’ in the form of improved regulatory frameworks, stewardship capacity, financial, and risk transfer tools, biodiversity conservation and land improvement. It also conducts policy studies and outreach in a growing range of domains.