Syngenta looking to sell

KEKAHA — Syngenta is looking for someone to buy its operation on Kauai.

The plan is to pursue a different operating model and seek to contract current Hawaii-based seed production activities with the new owner, said Beth Tokioka, spokeswoman for Syngenta on Kauai.

“We are currently seeking an appropriate buyer for our sites on Oahu and Kauai. Our goal is to have our employee talent base and facilities maintained, and have an opportunity to contract work with the new owner,” said Ed Attema, head of Global Field Production for Syngenta.

There will be no change to the company’s operations or “people related to this decision” until the completion of a transaction, according to Tokioka.

Syngenta plans to complete the sale in the first half of 2017, and the company notified a number of local dealers Tuesday about the decision.

“Syngenta remains committed to the unique benefits of developing agricultural innovation in Hawaii — experienced people, stable weather and good soil,” Tokioka said. “Syngenta will continue to be part of the important role Hawaii plays in agriculture and food production for the U.S. and around the world.”

Syngenta has been operating on Kauai since 1968, though not always under the current company name. Its inception was as Pride Seeds/NK, and the company was a corn research farm on west Kauai and the company involved through several ownership changes.

In the year 2000, Syngenta was formed when Novartis Agribusiness merged with Zeneca Agrochemicals.

Syngenta currently employs 105 people at the Kauai and Kunia sites combined.

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