Syngenta has announced it is to invest over £100m in its UK manufacturing and research and development sites, as part of a £300m global expansion programme.

Over £75m will be invested at existing production sites in Grangemouth, Scotland and Huddersfield, while a further £35m will be invested at the Jealott’s Hill R&D centre in Berkshire.

The extra money will help fund increased production of the azoxystrobin fungicide and also develop new herbicides, formulations and product safety. It is hoped it will also speed up the delivery of new products to the market and strengthen Syngenta’s position as one of the country’s 25 largest investors in R&D.

Mark Peacock, head of global operations, said the investment in crop protection products was essential if global food supply was to meet the needs of a rising population.

“Global food supply needs to increase by 50% over the next 20 years,” he said. “The use of crop protection products is an immediate and sustainable way to increase agricultural productivity.”