Home » Syngenta & Enko’s Game-Changing Approach to Control Fungal Diseases in Crops

Syngenta & Enko’s Game-Changing Approach to Control Fungal Diseases in Crops

by Victor Adeyemi
  • Fungal pathogens account for around $200 billion loss of staple food in a whole year. 
  • Fortunately, Syngenta Crop Protection and Enko have announced the discovery of a new chemical way to control these fungal diseases in crops.
  • This innovation promises to help farmers sustainably protect their yields, and combat diseases that affect crops. 

Syngenta Crop Protection and Enko have introduced a new method to control fungal diseases in crops using a groundbreaking chemistry discovery. 

“We are excited to partner with Enko to apply the latest in drug discovery and development approaches used in the pharmaceutical industry to bring new and effective agricultural solutions even more quickly to farmers.”  Camilla Corsi, Global Head of Research at Syngenta, said. 

Enko CEO and founder Jacqueline Heard added “By proving that digital tools can cut discovery time for new crop protection solutions, we hope to accelerate the digital transformation shift within the agricultural industry as growers’ needs become more urgent.”

The Rationale 

Fungal pathogens have been a major challenge to the health of crops worldwide. It affects the top 5 staple crops – rice, wheat, corn, soybeans and potatoes. 

Additionally, diseases from these pathogens can cause farmers to lose 10-23% of their yield.

This loss worth around $200 billion could feed as many as 4 billion people a daily diet of 2,000 calories for a whole year. 

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According to experts, global warming has also widened the spread of fungal infections. Worse still, fungi are becoming resistant to existing fungicides.

The Novel Solution 

Syngenta and Enko

This breakthrough was achieved by screening billions of chemical molecules. Artificial intelligence and Enko’s DNA-encoded libraries were essential in the process, as they allowed potent and selective molecules to be quickly identified.

This approach not only reduces the time required for research and development but also ensures the discovery of effective solutions to combat fungal pathogens.

The milestone in discovering the fungicide is a result of Syngenta and Enko working together for several years to create new, cost-effective, safe, and environmentally friendly crop protection options for farmers worldwide.

Both companies now begin the next phase of collaboration. They will optimise the fungicide’s attributes and test them.

Moving forward, Enko and Syngenta will work together to find herbicide solutions to fight against resistant weeds like Palmer Amaranth.

About Syngenta Crop Protection 


Syngenta provides crop protection solutions for plant and soil health, along with digital tools that enhance farmers’ decision-making. With 17,900 employees worldwide, Syngenta has advanced agriculture in over 90 countries.   

About Enko 


Enko is an agtech startup that specialises in innovative agricultural solutions. The company focuses on developing advanced technologies to address agricultural challenges. Founded in 2017, Enko is backed by investors including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Anterra Capital, and Finistere Ventures. The company is headquartered in Mystic, Connecticut, USA. 

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