Five-point Plan in Figthing Hunger
“Our planet has reached its ecological limits,” says Liam Condon. The Bayer CropScience CEO is therefore certain: “We must make better use of the available land.” And this quite simply necessitates “new ideas.”
That in turn is the very purpose of the five-point plan developed by Bayer CropScience: a holistic approach to promote a new revolution in agriculture. The company thus is continuing the “green revolution” of the 1960s. Back then, the industry achieved a tremendous expansion in agricultural production through increased use of crop protection products and fertilizer. Other measures are needed today. New ideas are required that Bayer CropScience has spelled out in five points.
Point 1 involves targeted investment in agricultural innovations so as to address the central challenges in the agricultural industry with new solutions. Explains Condon: “It is crucial that we pursue all available research approaches so as to safeguard the world’s food supply over the long term.”
Point 2 involves efforts to support farmers worldwide through access to technologies, know-how and training. With the “Model Village Project,” for example, Bayer CropScience is helping small farmers in India to become independent entrepreneurs. This assistance will also improve living conditions in Indian villages in the future.
The sustainable expansion of agricultural productivity is established in Point 3. Condon appeals to agricultural scientists to focus more closely on intelligent, climate-friendly solutions for agriculture than has been the case in the past. Such solutions already exist to some extent. One example is rice cultivation, where Bayer CropScience has developed comprehensive solutions such as hybrid seed, new crop protection products and technologies, and training measures.
One third of all children worldwide have developmental problems due to malnutrition. Point 4 of the plan for the future explains how to address this deficiency: by promoting human health through something known as biofortification. This specialist term describes the improved uptake by plants of nutrients such as zinc, iron and iodine. Bayer CropScience is already working together with organizations such as Harvest Plus in this very field. The joint objective is to improve the nutritional value of plants.
The last step in the five-point plan deals with the expansion of international cooperation between players in politics and industry. According to Condon, the partners should focus together on the aspect of practical implementation. It would then be the task of the private sector to continue investing in science, products and services. It would thus help to safeguard food supplies and improve rural development. At the same time, Condon says, there are challenges such as a lack of education, political and economic instability, poor infrastructure and uncertain framework conditions. Many participants in the process must work together to solve these challenges, he says.