Syngenta and Sensako taking hands – why it makes good sense

12 April 2021

Six months ago, Syngenta announced the acquisition of Sensako, a leading seed company with a rich history spanning sixty years.

Get to know Sensako

Sensako is a well-known seed company within the South African seed industry and has made its mark over the years in breeding and research, as well as the production and supply of seed to the South African market. Recently, it once again, began to focus on the summer crops market and established breeding programmes for sunflowers and maize as well as a soybean cultivar testing programme.

Get to know Syngenta

Syngenta has limited cereal seeds expertise in South Africa, having primarily focused on Crop Protection and vegetable seed solutions, and no field crop business in South Africa. This strategic acquisition enables Syngenta to enter the South African seeds market quicker in wheat, corn and sunflower varieties.

Syngenta is globally recognised as a reputable company providing farmers with vigorous, strong and innovative hybrids, varieties and biotech traits as well as crop protection options to suit all growing conditions.

Benefits of acquisition

The transaction enabled two financially strong companies with established brands to combine into one seed company under the Sensako name ready to service the South African grain producer.  Sensako and Syngenta are now well-aligned to address the challenges farmers are facing with well-adapted hybrids and varieties across the grain and cereal spectrum. 

How does Syngenta benefit from the transaction?

  • Syngenta now has access to the germplasm, brand value and market share of an established brand.
  • Syngenta does not have to start a local breeding programme in South Africa from scratch.
  • The combined pipelines and knowledge base can reduce the time to bring new seed products to market.  


How does Sensako benefit from the transaction?

  • Sensako now has access to Syngenta’s broad international germplasm bank.
  • Sensako will receive an enormous injection into the existing local breeding programmes.
  • Sensako has gained direct access to cutting edge technologies such as Viptera (insect resistance) in maize, AIR technology (herbicide resistance) in sunflower, and hybrid wheat technology.

This pipeline of high-quality seed not only ensures better and more productive crops, but also plays an important role in mitigating risks associated with grain and cereal production such as disease, pests and climatic diversity, thus enabling farmers to grow food using less land, less water and fewer inputs.