Syngenta and Novozymes announced a global agreement under which Syngenta will work with Novozymes to commercialize the Novozymes technology JumpStart, a seed-applied biological which increases phosphate solubility in the soil.

The two companies will jointly develop the market for JumpStart in combination with Syngenta's Seed Care portfolio on crops including cereals and corn. The agreement extends the geographic potential of JumpStart, currently sold mainly in North America, to the rest of the world.

Phosphorus is an essential macronutrient for the healthy growth of young plants. JumpStart is based on a unique fungus Penicillium bilaii, which increases phosphate uptake into the plant through the root system. The market potential for seed-applied technologies to increase phosphate efficiency is estimated at over $100 million.

John Atkin, COO Syngenta, said: "We are pleased to enter into this agreement with Novozymes which marks a further addition to our growing range of bioactives. Our Seed Care portfolio already offers best-in-class control of insects and disease together with crop enhancement benefits. With the addition of JumpStart, growers will now gain the added advantage of improved phosphate efficiency."

Thomas Videbæk, executive vice president Novozymes, commented, "Partnering with Syngenta supports our strategic goal to provide the world with natural and biological solutions to help farmers worldwide increase yields to feed the world's growing population."