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The private sector is committed to play a strong role in transforming agriculture to address urgent global needs, said Sandra Peterson, CEO of Bayer CropScience, recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
“Through our work with stakeholders across the food value chain, we are uniquely positioned to understand evolving trends and challenges, to connect the dots and drive new solutions.”
Peterson, who co-led discussions during a forum session of the “New Vision for Agriculture” on the topic “Agriculture, Health and Nutrition Linkages”, emphasized that partnership and collaboration are integral. “We need to connect the dots and work across the entire food value chain – from seed to shelf,” Peterson said.
Bayer CropScience recently joined as a member of the Forum’s global initiative “New Vision for Agriculture”. The aim of the initiative is to foster the sustainable intensification of agriculture through a novel partnership model involving public and private collaborations. Under this initiative, national action plans for public-private collaborations have been initiated in six countries –Vietnam, Indonesia, Tanzania, Mexico, Nigeria and India.
As a key player in the agricultural industry, Bayer CropScience already plays an important role in driving the innovation to improve agricultural productivity. The company has invested significantly in partnerships with premier research institutes globally on key staple crops such as wheat and rice. Such collaboration has already led to significant results that will enable these crops to better withstand disease and provide enhanced yields.
Giving that agriculture is key to economic growth and prosperity, providing livelihoods for more than 2.5 billion people living in rural areas worldwide, Bayer CropScience has also already taken an early lead in developing a broad variety of tools to support smallholder farmers. In the case of rice, the company already offers solutions ranging from training in good agricultural practices to improvements in water management and post-harvest storage, and has also initiated the highly successful program “Much More Rice” in Vietnam.
The “New Vision for Agriculture” was launched in 2011 as a global initiative aimed at achieving sustainable agriculture, based on an innovative model for public-private collaboration at the national level. Led by more than twenty global companies in close collaboration with governments and other stakeholders, the initiative has engaged more than 350 leaders of business, government, civil society, international organizations and academia.
It is anchored to three core goals intended to build on the Millennium Development Goals and other international targets by coordinating and concentrating the efforts of agricultural players around the world. The first goal is to meet nutritional demands while providing affordable choices across the food value chain (Food Security). The second goal is to conserve or enhance the quality and quantity of natural resources and meet the challenges of changing climate (Environmental Sustainablility). The third goal is to drive rural and national economic development around the globe with well-targeted investments (Economic Growth).