25 April 2016

Bayer indicates again the commitment to improve farmers' welfare and the world food security

Innovative agriculture solutions can support farmers to increase their harvests by applying several ways that are productive, efficient and sustainable, which bolster the Indonesian government's aims to achieve the rice self-sufficiency

Jakarta, April 25, 2016 – Currently, the agricultural sector is facing more and more challenges, such as limited land for farming, extreme weather conditions due to climate change, market volatility, manpower shortages as well as other resources, and other issues. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the world's population will grow to more than 9 billion people by the year 2050 and the number of food production should also rise at least 70 percent to meet the needs of a population which will be one-third more than at present.

Related to this, Bayer through its participation in the Responsible Business Forum and Agriculture showed again its commitment to support farmers to improve the crops and productivity, and enhance the world food security through agricultural intensification on existing agricultural land. With the innovative agricultural solutions which is intended to help farmers to use their resources more efficient, Bayer aims to utilize modern agricultural technology to help farmers facing the recent challenges.

"Bayer is committed to the continued investment in research and development fields to provide innovative solutions that help farmers and improve global food security. Our innovative solutions in agriculture sector is the result of the largest research and development investment in the industry. In addition to continue the innovation to restrain pests, plant diseases, and weeds, we also keep on looking for new innovation areas. For example, our hybrid seeds can improve plant resistance to drought and immersion as the impact of El Niño and climate change faced by our agricultural sector at this time," said Simon-Thorsten Wiebusch, Country Group Head of Southeast Asia division of Bayer Crop Science.

The 3rd Responsible Business Forum on Food and Agriculture is an annual event which unites more than 350 world leaders from business, government, media, and NGOs sectors to discuss cooperation between the ASEAN countries to create equitable growth for farmers and all stakeholders in the region. For two days, all delegates will discuss recommendations for improving the productivity of the six major commodities in the region, with a focus on how to improve the welfare of small farmers and reduce environmental impact. Bayer is a supporting partner of the event and has a role in panel discussion on agriculture, as well as working groups in the fields of rice.

"The majority of farmers in ASEAN, particularly Indonesia, have narrow lands so they often do not have the access to the equipment, technology, and training which they need to help maximizing the crops and productivity. Therefore, Bayer actively cooperates with numerous partners both from public and private sectors to encourage the growth and facilitate the exchange of expertise, technology, and resources," explained Ashraf Al-Ouf, President Director of PT Bayer Indonesia.

"For example, Bayer led the Rice Working Group under the partnership with Partnership for Indonesia Sustainable Agriculture (PISAgro), a movement that launched by the Indonesian government to speed up a sustainable agriculture development throughout Indonesia. The collaboration focuses on improving the efficiency of rice processing which includes several issues like farmers training, labor shortages, land availability, seeding method, and farm management. One of the areas that has become our focus is the agriculture intensification using hybrid seeds and technology adoption. Based on data collected from our projects in West Java, Central Java, East Java, South Sulawesi and North Sumatra, farmers experienced an increase in return on investment (ROI) ranging from 7 to 19 percent," added Ashraf Al-Ouf.

Indonesia is the third largest rice producer in the world, and rice farming is the source of life for more than 250 million farmers. Indonesia is also one of the countries with the largest rice consumption in the world, where rice is still the main food of Indonesian people. Currently, agricultural area of rice in Indonesia reached 13 million hectares, which is 24 percent of the total agricultural land in Indonesia. The Indonesian government has established a plan to realize the rice self-sufficiency and focused on improving productivity and food production to reach the aims.

Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2014, the Group employed around 119,000 people and had sales of EUR 42.2 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.5 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 3.6 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.

Media Contact:
Anton Susanto
Head of Communications
PT Bayer Indonesia
Phone: +62-21-30491506
E-mail: anton.susanto@bayer.com
www.bayer.co.id and www.bayer.com

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