Seed breeder Syngenta is allocating millions for a greenhouse with new CO2 technology

Seed breeder Syngenta has opened the Jan Schagenkas in Enkhuizen. The greenhouse uses CO2 technology to pollinate vegetables and is named after the man who was behind the design. He died two years ago. His wife Corina was allowed to perform the opening today.

It is an emotional moment for Corina: “I think it is a great honor to do this. And I am very happy that I was able to open my husband’s legacy. It is just a shame that he cannot be there.”

Jan Schagen worked at the seed breeder for 15 years. The work was his passion, just like designing and developing the ultra-modern greenhouse. “When it was still being built, he would sometimes take me and the children along. He would show us everything that was happening. He knew every screw or hose. He knew every inch of the building, it was in his head. And then It’s wonderful that it is now finished.”

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There are several climate zones in the greenhouse, which should improve quality control. Furthermore, more automation has been introduced and a logical short walking route has been created.

In another part of the greenhouse there are various types of cabbage. The use of CO2, carbon dioxide, helps vegetables that cannot self-pollinate. “It ensures better production, in this greenhouse we can work more efficiently and deliver better quality,” says Pim Neefjes, global head of cabbage and lettuce crops.

Millions of investments underway in seed industry

It is once again a huge investment in the West Frisian seed breeding industry. Syngenta is also currently building a new laboratory. And seed improver Incotec and breeder Enza Zaden from Enkhuizen also have plans to invest tens of millions of euros in to renovate and expand.

Enza also took Zaden recently acquired Balk Wervershoof. A company that has been producing tomato, cucumber and pepper seeds for years. According to Enza, in order to continue to meet the growing demand for quality vegetable seeds. “The company produces high-quality seeds and employs very experienced and skilled employees. We are proud that we can now add this knowledge to our company,” says CEO Jaap Mazereeuw.

Enkhuizen as a logical place

Matthew Johnston, Syngenta’s Global Director of Vegetable Seeds, also came to Enkhuizen from the US for the opening of the greenhouse. According to him, given the more than 150 years of history and expertise, it is only logical that such a large investment is made at their branch in Enkhuizen. And also a signal that the location still has a long future.

“It is our largest location for research and development worldwide. Our largest location for seed processing and also seed production. We have dedicated colleagues who serve farmers all over the world. Most of what we do worldwide in research and production starts here in Enkhuizen. “