BASEL--Agrochemical giant Syngenta has drafted in public relations support to help it improve engagement across its 5,000-strong research and development division.

The Holmes Report understands that the company has appointed Salt to oversee the assignment, following a competitive review.

R&D is a pivotal element of Syngenta's business, and focuses on improving the yield and quality of seeds and better protecting crops. Syngenta markets and sells eight primary product lines, including pesticides and genetically modified seeds, that aim to boost agricultural productivity. 

Much of the R&D activity, though, is conducted across a broad geographic network that includes major centers in China, Netherlands, the US, UK, Switzerland, France and India. It is believed that the company wants to make its R&D efforts more cohesive by stepping up internal communication and engagment with field workers.

Syngenta, which competes with the likes of DuPont and Bayer, reported 2012 sales of $14.2bn, and is targeting revenues of $25bn by 2020.

A Syngenta spokesperson confirmed that Salt will work on projects for the company this year, but declined to provide further details. "We will continue to work with Salt and other communications agencies to constantly refine our internal and external communications," he said.