Can small-holders in developing countries benefit from Bayer products too?
According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), agricultural productivity will need to increase by 60 percent between 2006 and 2050 in order to provide an adequate food supply to feed the world’s growing population. As one of the biggest suppliers of crop protection agents and seeds, Bayer wants to help the world overcome this major challenge. Alongside large-scale farming, small-scale farmers play a key role in ensuring food supplies, particularly in developing countries and emerging economies.
However, limited access to land, low-yield crop varieties, a lack of storage and transportation facilities and poor education can lead to low productivity, and in certain cases even rob the farmer and his family of their livelihood. Although it might seem like a paradoxical situation, three quarters of the approximately 800 million people at risk of starvation live in rural environments, where they struggle to produce enough food for their family under the harshest conditions.
We have made it our aim to increase our support to these small-holder families.
Take India, for example, which is home to 90 million small-holders. In the state of Rajasthan, we provide a combination of high-quality seed and crop protection agents for cotton cultivation, while in Karnataka the focus is on cucumbers and elsewhere on hybrid rice. Training in good agricultural practice, product safety and environmental protection rounds off our offer. And these efforts have truly paid off, producing 15–50 percent larger harvests without harm to the environment.
Vietnamese rice farmers are under stress. Whether caused by pests and diseases or weather-related calamities which threaten their livelihood, farmers are finding new ways to cope. Their overall strategy: a more holistic approach.
In Africa, for example, 60 percent of the working population is employed in agricultural activities. We have teamed up with the “Fair Planet” NGO to help farmers in Ethiopia cultivate the most advanced vegetable crops while remaining as faithful as possible to their traditional methods. Digital farming also provides new opportunities for profitable and sustainable agricultural practices.