Syngenta announced plans to broaden and scale up its Plene platform of integrated sugar cane solutions. Through an exclusive licensing agreement with New Energy Farms, Syngenta will access an innovative planting system for sugar cane in Brazil: Ceeds (Crop Expansion Encapsulation and Drilling System).

The Ceeds technology enables the realization of Plene on a commercial scale. It is complementary to Plene Evolve and PLENE PB, launched last year, which are for nursery production and gap-filling.

The new Plene offer will be based on encapsulated plant tissue produced in a controlled environment. It provides a higher multiplication rate and a lower unit cost per ton compared with conventional planting systems. The new Plene will use high quality plants from Syngenta’s biofactory in Itápolis and will offer a step change in sugar cane planting in terms of speed and quality. Significantly longer shelf life compared with the original Plene concept should improve transportation logistics and make the technology broadly available. The target market is some two million hectares planted annually in Brazil, with commercialization starting in 2017.

Syngenta Chief Operating Officer, John Atkin, said: “We have added another innovative technology to our Plene platform. This will make the planting process for growers more efficient and will bring them high quality genetic material at scale. By multiplying in a controlled environment, we can eliminate field production uncertainties and related economic risks.”

Paul Carver, Ph.D., CEO of New Energy Farms, said: “We have been developing the Ceeds technology since 2009 and have demonstrated that it is very effective on a number of vegetatively propagated crops. We are excited that the expertise and infrastructure of Syngenta will enable the commercialization of this technology on sugar cane in Brazil.”

Syngenta’s portfolio for sugar cane is already delivering broad benefits to growers in Brazil, the world’s largest sugar cane producer. Producing more than 40 percent of the world’s sugar cane, Brazil has increased production by more than 100 percent in the past 10 years. Further growth is expected supported by Brazil’s leading role in meeting an increase in global sugar demand.