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The map below shows the number of smallholders reached through Syngenta Crop Protection and Seeds sales, number of farm workers trained (many of them are smallholders), and the share of our seed supply chain covered in the Syngenta Fair Labor program. You can select a country on the map to see the details. The country’s color indicates progress compared to the previous year, with dark green indicating the biggest overall percentage increase.
Smallholder growers are critical to the world’s food security, yet they often face high financial risks and low returns. Every day, 180,000 people leave rural communities to live in cities. Over half our sales are in developing countries dominated by smallholder farmers, particularly in Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. As our contact with smallholders is largely indirect through vendors of our products, we use sales volume data to calculate the number of smallholders reached. It was disappointing to see a fall in the number of smallholders reached through sales – down by 2.7 million to 13.9 million in 2017. The main factor was a sharp drop in corn acreage in China, where government has been encouraging alternative crops to reduce historic corn stockpiles. Over 60 percent of our smallholder customers are now in China, where corn is our principal crop, and the impact was only partially softened by increased sales in other crops such as soybean.
But we increased the number of smallholders we reach directly. We share a responsibility to help improve occupational safety and health in agriculture. This applies particularly to smallholders, especially those in developing countries, who often lack access to guidance on using crop protection efficiently, responsibly and safely. In 2017, we reached 8.2 million people with safety training and safe-use awareness-raising initiatives linked to commercial activities. This brought the cumulative total since 2014 to 25.4 million, taking us well past the 20 million target we set for 2020. Smallholders make up some 70 percent of the people we train on safe use, as part of broader education on using our products to best effect.
The map below shows seed producing countries that have implemented the Syngenta Fair Labor program. Countries that were new to the program in 2017 have been indicated.