Crops a strategic focal point
Bayer CropScience has placed the specific needs of large-scale farming at the heart of its global innovation strategy. As part of its “crop strategies,” Bayer CropScience is gearing its research and development activities to sustainable agricultural production. “As an innovation leader, we offer farmers a full range of services, including state-of-the-art crop protection, high-quality seeds, new solutions for crop cultivation, technical know-how and support services,” says Lykele van der Broek, member of the Board of Management of Bayer CropScience, whose areas of responsibility include sustainability.
Sustainable agriculture takes into account economic, ecological and social aspects to produce high-quality and safe agricultural products. It minimizes the environmental impact of farming and protects biological diversity as far as possible. The social and economic situation of the people living in the cultivation regions is also improved thanks to simpler cultivation methods and higher crop yields. “In the long run, we believe there is no real alternative to sustainable agriculture as an efficient and competitive way of ensuring we can feed the world,” says van der Broek.
As a global company operating in 120 countries, we have to meet a variety of geographical, socioeconomic, historical, cultural and environmental criteria. Our customers range from small-scale farmers to large agricultural companies. And their expectations are correspondingly diverse in terms of what they want and need from our products and services. Our contribution to ensuring food supplies is best illustrated by our projects and activities involving small-scale farmers in emerging markets. “Small-scale farmers are often at a disadvantage because of a lack of key elements, such as agricultural expertise and advice, adequate agricultural infrastructure, means of transportation and communication and access to markets and financial services,” says Dr. Rüdiger Schaub, Head of Sustainable Development at Bayer CropScience. We cater to the particular needs of small-scale farmers by working closely with them and offering a comprehensive package of services – ranging from training measures and the transfer of know-how to expertise on employee management and market development.
When it comes to sustainable agriculture, there is no single recipe that can be applied equally to all regions of the world. Bayer has therefore developed a modular system of measures that can be adapted to the various needs of different countries. This led to the first “Sustainable Development Roadmaps” in 2010. In Germany, maintaining biodiversity is a principal objective of the action plan. In Australia, the development of crops resistant to the effects of climate change is a key focal issue. And in India, a primary aim of measures is to conserve water in agriculture.