Nutrition Farmers Doan Thi Hong and Phan Minh Phat (from left) harvest rice. The goal of the “Much More Rice” program is to increase both yields and the quality of rice, in Vietnam for example.
assured 2011
Strategy & Focus Issues

Helping to shape the future of agriculture

Nutrition: As part of its “Food Chain Partnership” projects, Bayer brings together all players in the food chain and thus helps farmers worldwide to produce agricultural products of the best possible quality. At the MarBran farm Rancho Granjenal in Villagran, Mexico, Juan Ramón Camacho and Gustavo Martinez Barbosa (from right) inspect the harvest.Zoom image
Nutrition: As part of its “Food Chain Partnership” projects, Bayer brings together all players in the food chain and thus helps farmers worldwide to produce agricultural products of the best possible quality. At the MarBran farm Rancho Granjenal in Villagran, Mexico, Juan Ramón Camacho and Gustavo Martinez Barbosa (from right) inspect the harvest.
Ensuring ample food supplies for the global population is already a major challenge today. Harvests are failing because periods of drought are increasing and deserts are becoming more widespread as a result of climate change. In other parts of the world, harvests are being destroyed by floods and storms for the same reason. Experts on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) [ 28 ] have repeatedly indicated that extreme weather is a result of climate change. Even without the negative impact of climate change, agricultural production would have to increase by around 40 percent by 2025 to meet the rising demand of the growing global population and its changing nutritional habits.

Contributions to sustainable agriculture

Sustainable agriculture that combines economic, ecological and social aspects to provide sufficiently high-quality and safe agricultural produce plays an important role in helping to solve these problems. In doing so, the environmental impact of farming must be minimized and biological diversity protected as far as possible. At the same time, innovative cultivation methods and higher crop yields can significantly improve the social and economic situation of the people living in the cultivation regions. However, individual solutions must be found for the varying conditions in the different parts of the world.
The products and services of Bayer CropScience focus on key areas to improve the productivity and sustainability of agriculture and to safeguard the supply of food. The goal is to identify the needs of our customers and to develop innovative and sustainable solutions for the entire value-added chain (from seed to shelf). “We want to play a role in shaping the future of agriculture. This means we have to combine the mind of a scientist with the heart of a farmer,” says Sandra Peterson, Chief Executive Officer of Bayer CropScience, describing the challenge for the company.

Four-pillar strategy

In September 2011 Bayer CropScience announced a new growth strategy comprising four elements that will enable the subgroup to drive forward its diverse solutions for sustainable agriculture even more strongly:
1. Rejuvenating our crop protection business: Crop protection agents are the most commercially important area of Bayer CropScience’s business. The efficient use of herbicides, insecticides or fungicides protects crops and therefore farmers against crop failure caused by pests or disease. In the future, crop protection agents will play a significant part in increasing productivity, as will be necessary, and safeguarding food supplies. Bayer CropScience is currently restructuring its crop protection business by phasing out older products and focusing on new product families that have been identified as growth drivers. In this context, all remaining insecticide formulations in WHO Class I are to be removed from the crop protection portfolio by the end of 2012.
2. Strengthening customer focus along the entire value-added chain: We are aiming to strengthen our customer focus along the entire value-added chain. This involves boosting our commitment to farmers and improving processes in the sales channels. We are also employing new systems for maintaining customer relationships that utilize the know-how associated with the Bayer brand and expand the successful “Food Chain Partnership” business model.
3. Refocusing and reweighting innovation activities: In developing our product innovations, we will focus more strongly in the future on the BioScience Business Unit, doubling its annual research and development (R&D) spending through 2015 (compared to 2010).
For example, we are conducting research into stress-resistant plants. In addition to being pest-resistant, agricultural plants will in the future need to be better equipped to deal with the effects of climate change. Drought tolerance is one important example.
The total research spending of Bayer CropScience is to be increased by around 20 percent (compared to 2010) to more than €850 million through 2015.
4. Extending BioScience business in core crops: We want to further expand our market shares for cotton, canola and vegetables in particular and achieve significant market positions for soybeans, rice and wheat – three of the four most important field crops worldwide. With regard to rice, we want to drive forward the spread of hybrid varieties in Asia and support farmers through comprehensive agronomic programs such as “Much More Rice/Vietnam.”

Opinion

Nina von Radowitz, Head of Sustainability of the METRO GROUPZoom image
Nina von Radowitz, Head of Sustainability of the METRO GROUP
“The METRO GROUP and Bayer CropScience work together on “Food Chain Partnership” projects. Their common objective is to promote sustainable methods of cultivation and help food manufacturers meet customer requirements in terms of quality, safety and traceability. One example of this successful collaboration is a project initiated in India in 2011 which involves purchasing vegetables from more than 120 farmers. It is a win-win situation for everyone involved. Bayer CropScience‘s crop protection expertise and training boosts the volume of salable goods, small-holder farmers enjoy higher incomes, the industry benefits from traceability throughout the process and end consumers obtain high-quality food.“

Future-focused partnerships

Bayer CropScience is also committed to partnerships and collaborations, including public-private partnerships. Our partners include the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) [ 29 ], the World Economic Forum (WEF) [ 30 ], the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) [ 31 ]Australia’s national research organization CSIRO [ 32 ] and many other regional partners.
Bayer CropScience joined the global “New Vision for Agriculture” [ 33 ] initiative of the World Economic Forum in 2011. This initiative is supported by 28 global companies working closely with governments, other economic, political and social stakeholders, international organizations and universities. The goal is to promote the sustainable intensification of agriculture through an innovative partnership model involving public and private cooperation. Under the initiative, national action plans for public-private collaboration have already been initiated in six countries – Tanzania, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and India. As a leading company in the agricultural industry, Bayer CropScience makes important contributions to boosting agricultural productivity with its innovative activities. The company invests significant sums in partnerships with some of the world’s leading institutes conducting research on important staple foodstuffs such as wheat and rice. This has already produced some important results that will help make plants more resistant to disease and increase yields.
Agriculture is a key driving force behind economic growth and prosperity. It also accounts for the livelihood of more than 2.5 billion people living in rural areas worldwide. With this in mind, Bayer CropScience has been quick to develop a wide range of products and services for small-holder farmers. For example, the company offers a whole host of solutions for rice cultivation, ranging from training on good agricultural practice to improvements in water management and harvest storage.
Our cooperation with farmers and local authorities in Indonesia has given rise to a very sustainable solution for rice cultivation. Here, we are helping farmers switch from the process of planting rice to seeding pregerminated rice directly. This method increases the rice yield, cuts water consumption and reduces the emission of the greenhouse gas methane.    
Bayer lighthouse projects for nutrition
Food Chain Partnership VegetablesImplemented measuresResults in 2011
Work together with partners to jointly develop solutions for sustainable vegetable growingSuccessful project development with local partner organizations and farmersPartners communicate projects independently as sustainable value chain initiatives
Help farmers in India with the sustainable cultivation of vegetable cropsThe ongoing project has been well received
2011/2012: Successful presentations at international trade fairs (Fruit Logistica, Berlin; Asia Fruit Logistica, Hong Kong)
Projects in 125 cultivation regions with 65,000 farmers on an area of 50,000 hectares
Direct Seeding of RiceImplemented measuresResults in 2011
Program for sustainable rice-growing with a combination of new growing methods involving the direct seeding of pregerminated rice and the efficient use of crop protection agents and fertilizerProject started in Indonesia in 2009
2011: Rice Value Chain Workshop with stakeholders in the 1st quarter of 2011
Project documentation and external auditing (for UNFCCC*) Acceptance among farmers is still hesitant
Preliminary talks about expanding the program to India
Target of 50,000 hectares by 2015; area achieved in 2011: 2,900 hectares Method successfully registered with UNFCCC* (April 2011);
auditing process initiated (November 2011) Expansion of the program to India through pilot activities (2012)
Increase yield by up to 10%Segmentation of rice farmers based on specific criteria such as experience, training, willingness to innovate and communicate and opinion leadershipThe training and composition of the field team were optimized after an in-depth analysis (2012)
Reduce water consumption by up to 20% and emissions of the greenhouse gas methane by up to 30%Measurement of greenhouse gas emissions from rice fields of participating farmersPlanned evaluation as a CDM project with UNFCCC Planned registration as a Clean Development Mechanism project with UNFCCC (2012)
Emissions data from 2011 are currently being evaluated

* United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Bayer CropScience’s products and services are aimed at both small-holder farmers and large-scale farming operations. The focus with small-scale operations is on taking customers’ needs into account, including through appropriate formulations and pack sizes. For example, Bayer CropScience has developed practical pack sizes for small-holder farmers such as single-use doses (ampoules) for application to small areas.
The main challenge is, however, less the availability of suitable products and more the access to information (market, prices or growing methods). Solutions also have to be found to finance resources and storage and transport for small-holders. In numerous projects, such as its “Food Chain Partnerships,” Bayer CropScience is therefore working on improving the situation for small-holder farmers. The company is also applying its know-how to the problem as well as supplying its products.

Food Chain Partnerships

“Food Chain Partnerships” are part of the sales and marketing concept that Bayer CropScience is using to support the food industry worldwide with solutions from seed to shelf. Bayer’s “Food Chain Partnership” projects bring together all the players in the food chain – farmers, food producers and processors, wholesalers, retailers, importers and exporters. They are designed to help farmers in emerging and established markets improve their agricultural yields and raise the quality of their harvested produce and thus of the resultant foodstuffs. The projects also help boost marketing opportunities for their products and improve their income situation.
Bayer is involved in around 240 “Food Chain Partnership” projects [ 34 ] worldwide, primarily in southern Europe, Africa, Latin America, India and China. Experts from Bayer CropScience teach farmers about sustainable cultivation in keeping with good agricultural practice. This includes the controlled, environmentally friendly use of crop protection agents. High-quality seed adapted to the local region, improved treatment plans and consistent monitoring of pest infestation increase not only agricultural yields, but also quality. What is more, thanks to the documentation of crop treatment by farmers, production becomes more transparent and traceable. Ultimately, these partnerships bring benefits not only for farmers but also for Bayer. Cooperation with international partners in the food industry and local organizations opens up new markets for us.

Innovation – a key factor in sustainable development

Thanks to research and development work, innovations are constantly being achieved in the company’s product portfolio to meet the needs of our customers and respond to changing cultivation and market conditions. Our goal is to provide efficient, environmentally friendly technologies to benefit agricultural operations across the globe by optimizing harvests in terms of both quality and quantity. There are significant differences between countries in terms of climate, cultivation conditions and the prevalence of weeds, diseases and pests. To protect crops under these varying conditions, Bayer CropScience offers a diverse range of products here, too, with the focus on developing stress-resistant plants.
In this context, it responsibly mixes modern cultivation methods with traditional techniques. Bayer CropScience regularly analyzes data from the markets, regulatory authorities, researchers, other organizations and the general public. New, highly effective substances and formulation technologies are being developed and launched on the market. Older or less suitable products are gradually being replaced by products that, for example, feature a better safety profile, optimized biological effectiveness or better environmental credentials.
http://www.sustainability2011.bayer.com/en/helping-to-shape-the-future-of-agriculture.aspx

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Last updated: June 6, 2012