A New Day for Agriculture!
As a child, I spent many hours side by side with my father, watching him work. He taught me that work is not just about making a living but about living to make a difference. That’s exactly what we intend to do: shaping agriculture to benefit farmers, consumers and our planet.
Despite agriculture’s progress in feeding more people on less land than at any time in history, there are still more than 800 million people who experience chronic hunger. As the population grows, so too does the trend toward increased urbanization, which means that competition for limited natural resources between cities and rural communities will only increase. So we clearly need to find a better balance between addressing human nutritional and environmental needs.
In essence, we’ve got to help farmers grow enough safe and affordable food and at the same time protect the planet that sustains us. But how do we accomplish this?
It begins with creativity. While our highly innovative portfolio of seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection products and data analytics is impressive, our greatest assets are the many thousands of employees who work with our customers and partners to discover new ways to farm more efficiently and sustainably. Breakthrough innovation cannot be prescribed, but it can be fostered by bringing the best talent from multiple disciplines together to work on big ideas that can really make a difference. That is one of the key goals of Bayer and we aim to do this in a spirit of collaboration with external partners from all over the world.
It must work with nature. Agriculture can only exist within the limitations of our natural world. New areas of study will rely on using the soil’s living ecosystem to help improve crop fertility, or a plant’s natural genetic variability to provide food choices that benefit both farmers and society. These and other developments will be aided by digital and management practices that recognize a central tenet of agricultural sustainability – you can’t take more out of the earth than you’re willing to put in.
It requires trust. Our survey of 10,000 consumers shows that people want to know that their food is produced safely and sustainably. By being transparent in how we evaluate the safety of our products and by honestly engaging with consumers, we aim to foster real dialogue that will get beyond ideology and look towards truly sustainable solutions.
Board of Management of Bayer AG and President Crop Science
A New Day for Agriculture!
No one can overstate the difficult challenge we face to help ensure a safe and sustainable food supply. But neither should we underestimate our capacity to achieve great things when we are united by a common goal. Guided by our purpose of Science for a better life, we will live to make a difference for farmers and consumers – because we all have a stake in the future of food.
It’s a new day for Bayer and a new day for agriculture. Let’s be sure to make the most of it!
Please feel free to provide your comments and feedback right here on my blog/post.