Makhteshim Agan Industries Participated in the 2013 Economist Feeding the World Summit on Accelerating Global Food Security

President and CEO Erez Vigodman highlights the limited global R&D funding in agriculture as a major obstacle in solving the world food crisis

Feb 04, 2013, 07:44 ET from Makhteshim Agan Industries Ltd

TEL AVIV, Israel, February 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

The Makhteshim Agan Group ("MAI" or the "Company") - The Makhteshim Agan Group ("MAI"), the world leader in branded off-patent crop protection solutions, took an active role in the leading Economist forum on global food security and sustainable agriculture. Alongside influential decision-makers including Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, who is the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, and the Minister of Agriculture of the Netherlands, as well as a variety of industry leaders, aid agencies, and members of the research community, MAI debated the current issues of food waste, pressure on scarce resources, and lack of R&D focus in the area of agriculture worldwide.

Erez Vigodman, President and CEO of MAI commented: "The percentage of global private R&D investment in the area of agriculture relative to global private R&D is a minute 1.5%. Within that small percentage a significant portion is dedicated to seeds and traits.

At MAI, we believe that given the increasing role of agriculture in addressing the global food challenge, a paradigm shift is needed and agriculture will need to be completely transformed by a new focus on science and technology. The future of sustainable agriculture that will successfully feed a rapidly growing population will depend on novel technologies, not only in trait improvements but also in the fields of soil science, climate smart agriculture (including precision farming), water use efficiency, agronomy, crop varieties and farming practices mechanization and services.

These technologies should help in the reduction of land degradation, improve effectiveness of water use in agriculture, increase crop yields in mature markets and boost agriculture productivity in developing countries.

Additionally, there is a need to also focus the efforts on combating food waste along every step of the food chain.

To this end, there is a need to challenge and redefine the most important productivity opportunities in agriculture, the institutional mindset, mechanisms and level of integrated approach, innovation rates and level of investment in R&D by the private sector alongside with subsidies policies and effective pricing.

In my view, Israel represents a compelling case study of how to increase sustainable agriculture in a world of limited resources and harsh agricultural climates. The necessity of a unique and innovative farming approach is no longer limited to regions similar to Israel. Innovative farming is now crucial worldwide to increase productivity and yields by using less resources in order to maintain a sustainable future. Challenges in terms of limited agricultural resources are quickly becoming a global issue, making these innovative solutions relevant for many markets away from Israel.

To meet the challenge we collectively face the next era in agriculture requires real partnerships between private and public players. At Makhteshim Agan, with our roots in Israel and unique partnership with ChemChina we have better access and more commitment to make a real difference in one of the world's largest populations."

About Makhteshim Agan

Makhteshim Agan Industries Ltd. is a leading manufacturer and distributor worldwide of crop-protection solutions and the largest off-patent player in the industry. The Company supplies efficient solutions to farmers that assist them in combating disease and increasing yields. In 2011, the Company's revenues were over $2.69 billion, and it is ranked seventh in the world in the overall agro-chemicals industry. The Company is characterized by its know-how, high-level technological-chemical abilities, expertise in product registration, and observance of strict standards of environmental protection, stringent quality control and global marketing and distribution channels. For more information, visit us at

Rony Patishi-Chillim
SVP of Global Corporate Communications
Phone: +972-73-232-1941

SOURCE Makhteshim Agan Industries Ltd