The prognosis of The FAO forecasts that global grain production in 2023 will increase by 0.9% compared to the previous year which will reach 2,815 million tons.
In an interview with Claudio Muñoz, Syngenta’s general manager for the Andean region one of the leading companies in the sector, present in several countries, spoke about the development of the agro-industrial products sector and the business prospects for this year.
How was the last year operationally in the region?
In general, it was a year of growth for the seed industry in virtually all countries in this sector of the global economy. This year 2023 the situation is slightly different as the business has been suppressed due to different situations such as exchange problems, crop and climate problems. Colombia was no exception to these problems. And although we are growing in the area of introducing new technologies, the market has not brought about major changes.
Has the company felt the slowdown in consumption in Colombia?
Our market has experienced this decline For example, interest rates are also reflected in the farmer’s debt for the purchase of technologies and seeds. This has resulted in a stagnant market; However, the price of fertilizers has fallen by 20 to 30% compared to 2022.
What are the company’s business areas?
It is divided into three units: CP crop protection, filters and seeds. CP includes fungicides, insecticides, herbicides, seed treatment, biostimulation and biocontrol.
Which ones have the greatest income weight?
Fungicides always make up a larger share of our sales in the countries I look after, around 45%.Then there are insecticides between 20% and 25%, herbicides at around 15%.
What foods do you focus on?
Rice, corn and coffee cultivation are very important crops.. Potatoes are also a relevant item in which we have an important stake. Additionally, there are emerging crops such as avocado and banana. Colombia has a diversity of crops that make the country an attractive market for companies like ours.
Will they bring new technologies to the country?
Our goal is to introduce two new technologies per year to our markets. Of course, the entire registration process in certain countries means that they reach some countries first. In Colombia, we focus on providing products and technologies with a focus on biocontrol, bioinsecticide and biofungicide crops.which we already have in Ecuador and Peru, for example.
What are the revenue and profit forecasts for the Colombian market through the end of 2023?
Like many companies, we want to grow and increase our market share. Almost all companies talk about wanting to double growth relative to market growth, that is, if it increases by 5%, we want to achieve 10%, which is a challenging number for this year. We will achieve it thanks to the new technologies that we are bringing to the market.
How do you get involved in the regional market and in Colombia?
We in the Andean region and the northern Latin American region are number one. In Ecuador we are number one, in Peru we are second; In Venezuela, however, it is a little more difficult to show off, but we are between first and second place. According to our indicators, we are number two in the Colombian market and have an average market share of between 16% and 17%..
What is the production in tonnes that Syngenta has in the region and in Colombia?
We have a factory in Cartagena. There we have an approximate production of 12 million kiloliters of which about 70% of this production goes to the Andean countries and of this 70% about 55% remains in Colombia.
How many direct and indirect jobs do they create in Colombia?
At the Cartagena plant Around 200 people work directly and indirectly plus the entire commercial operation in Colombia, which must include approximately 90 employees that we employ as “full-time employees” and some outsourced employees assigned to certain specific campaigns, which corresponds to almost 40 employees.
Will you be offering new products in your portfolio this year?
We have three major pillars of growth: new technologies, CP products and the increasing digital agriculture for monitoring pests and diseases, and thirdly everything to do with biostimulation. We are in the process of bringing algae-based biostimulants to market. We also have a distribution agreement with the world market leader. You can buy this product next month.