Agripreneurship

Agripreneurship

How Bayer pursues farmer, product and environmental excellence through partnerships
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©Bayer CropScience

Head of Sustainability, Bayer CropScience

The Earth´s population currently stands at around 7 billion. By 2050, it is expected to grow to more than 9 billion. Population growth, changing consumption patterns, access to resources, weather fluctuations, poverty and equal opportunities represent huge challenges for society, politicians and innovative companies like Bayer. Bayer is addressing these challenges responsibly. In line with its mission “Science For A Better Life,” Bayer is making relevant contributions to help solve the major challenges of our time.

As long as 300 years ago, Hans Carl von Carlowitz, a mining inspector in Germany, recognized the importance of sustainable reforestation in ensuring a lasting supply of wood as a raw material for energy. Today, our challenge is global food security, which requires a further intensification of agricultural productivity in a sustainable way. We at Bayer CropScience are taking responsibility and bringing our innovation leadership to the table.

Sustainability is a key element of our business strategies. And, above all, through our innovations, products and customized services, it is integral to our business activities. In our view, a sustainable approach connects economic success with environmental and social responsibility. This is something that Bayer has always done throughout its 150 years of history. We know that sustainability is “Good Entrepreneurial Practice” and has a long history. Today, Bayer CropScience supports farmers worldwide, offering integrated crop solutions based on seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection solutions, services and proactive product stewardship measures to practice sustainable agriculture and to be good “agripreneurs”.

Contributing to sustainable food production

Bayer CropScience’s contribution to sustainable agriculture is a new concept called “Bayer Forward Farming,” demonstrating profitable and resource-efficient production of high-quality food. The concept comprises the development of technologies that go well beyond compliance requirements and high-level cooperation with key stakeholders such as politicians, national authorities and NGOs. One cornerstone of this program is a growing network of farms across Europe. These “Forward Farms” act as “centers of excellence” demonstrating sustainable agriculture. The aim is to improve agricultural production in a sustainable manner to secure a stable supply of high-quality and affordable food.

In addition, at the Bayer Forward Farms, we demonstrate product stewardship measures to protect human health and preserve the environment. It is about the responsible management of natural resources such as water and soil and the biodiversity of our agricultural ecosystems, e.g., through the provision of flowering strips, bee hotels or nesting places for birds. But farming is not just about producing the basis for our daily food. It is also about profitability and economic success for farmers and support for them as economic contributors to their communities, especially in rural areas.

Improving bee health

Bees play an important part in the agricultural landscape, providing pollination services which are necessary to ensure the production of a wide variety of foods. In collaboration with farmers, beekeepers, researchers, industry, politicians and NGOs, Bayer has researched solutions to improve bee health for more than 25 years. With the “Bayer Bee Care Center” in Monheim, Germany and a second center which just opened in North Carolina, USA, Bayer provides a dialog platform to engage with interested stakeholders to improve bee health and promote the planting of more bee and pollinator habitats.

Cultivating partnerships to increase agricultural yields

Emphasizing the need for a more holistic approach to drive up agricultural yields, Bayer CropScience proposes a five-point-plan to bring about a “New Revolution in Agriculture.” Five key points are crucial: innovation, which requires investment in research and development; access for farmers, big and small, to tools, technology and training; more sustainable approaches in agriculture; enhancing human health; and extending partnerships.

In essence, the sustainable intensification of agriculture requires closer collaboration among different stakeholders. Amidst the trends of lowered public and private investment in the agricultural sector, the exchange of agricultural expertise, insights, technologies, and resources is indispensable.

We cannot do this alone; we need strong private partners like IFC. Together, we support modernization of agriculture in Ukraine and help the country maximize its farming potential.

Strengthening small and medium-sized farms in Ukraine

Ukraine is one of the world’s leading exporters of grains, oilseeds and vegetable oil. The aim of the partnership with IFC is to enable farmers in the Ukraine to increase yields and yield quality and reduce costs. Bayer CropScience and IFC strive to help more than 20,000 small and medium-sized farms gain broader access to agricultural knowledge, inputs such as crop protection products, high-tech solutions, e.g., precision farming systems, and technology transfer.

It is also crucial to connect farmers with supply chains, because many farmers have limited access to markets. Finally, farmers in Ukraine not only require unrestricted choice about which crop to grow and which production method to employ, they also need access to financing, coherent agricultural policies, free trade, and open markets.

We are convinced that, to make progress towards enhancing food security, it is essential that we work together – in Ukraine and worldwide. Bayer CropScience has forged a growing number of partnerships all over the world to jointly pursue innovative solutions for enhancing sustainable agriculture.

Testimonials

Senior Agribusiness Officer & Program Manager, Advisory Services, Europe and Central Asia, IFC

 FARMER

“Our farm started using bank loans in 2003. Thanks to Bayer and IFC, we can now use promissory notes guaranteed by the bank as a financing tool. Before this program we were saddled with interest rates up to 20 %. But today, we are paying only 4.5%. That’s an extraordinary fourfold difference.  As a result, our debt pressure on the farm has been reduced, especially during the spring when we need working capital financing to buy seeds, fertilizers, fuel, and crop protection products.  Even though three years ago we were among the few who were using this financing tool, now there are many small and medium-sized farmers like us, who have access to affordable financing thanks to this program.”

Pavlo Kalenych
Farmer, Farm “Olgopil,” Vinnytska Oblast, Ukraine

BANKER

“Thanks to the risk sharing partnership with IFC and Bayer, we were able to start offering innovative SME financing to farmers for the first time in Ukraine. Now most financial institutions and input suppliers in the market are replicating this type of financing and the SME farmer financing market in Ukraine is transformed. In 2013, our program portfolio reached $10 million per annum. In 2014, we plan to double our portfolio through an intensive educational program for farmers, dealers, and bank staff as well as through simplified business processes introduced with the support of IFC’s advisory services. ”

Nikolay Volkov
Head of Regional Corporate Clients Division
Raiffeisen Bank Aval, Ukraine

ABOUT BAYER AND IFC
Bayer has been an IFC advisory client since 2013. IFC and Bayer have embarked on a new partnership to modernize agriculture in Ukraine through the most innovative technologies and high-tech solutions, including sustainable farm management practices, remote crop-sensing technologies, and precision farming practices.

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COMMENTS

  • nguyen hoai says:

    Excelent! We need model like this in Viet Nam. We need contact address of the project officer to communicate ASAP. Thanks.
    Nguyen Hoai, M.Sc. NUI Galway (WMO fellowship 1983-85); Dip.Eng.NUE Odessa (USSR-DRV fellowship 1971-77)

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