Businesses and policy makers invest in sustainable agriculture

24 May 2022 | Muriel Cozier

‘This crisis affects us all and needs the support of everyone to solve it.’

Bayer has signed the Zero Hunger Private Sector Pledge, making a $160 million commitment dedicated to helping end global hunger. The Pledge recognises the need for governments and the private sector to cooperate to end food scarcity, and companies taking the Pledge commit to investing money, resources and expertise in the areas of concern in which they operate. Bayer’s commitment will focus on communities in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Bayer said that as a global leader in agriculture, it drives its Zero Hunger Pledge commitments on multiple levels. These levels include helping smallholder farmers access seeds which contain the latest technology, educating communities on sustainable agricultural practices, providing growers with farming solutions, and introducing smallholders farmers to new-incoming generating opportunities. Bayer added that it would invest $100 million of its total commitment into research and development ‘to get quality vegetable seeds into the hands of smallholder farmers.’ Donating vegetable seeds to non-profit organisations is also part of the commitment.

Rodrigo Santos, Member of the Board of Bayer AG and President of the company’s Crop Science Division, said; ‘This crisis affects us all and needs the support of everyone to solve it. Our Pledge further puts into practice Bayer’s commitment to help end hunger through alignment of our investments and business operations to achieve this goal.’

In a separate development, the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) is expanding the world’s largest agricultural database FAOSTAT. The FAO said that ‘an important new domain enables much easier comparison and assessment of trends over time of the agricultural structures of all Member countries.’

The new domain allows rapid access to information on how many farms exist in a given country, the size of each farm, its ownership, the farmer’s gender and how many people live and work on them, all sourced to national Agricultural Censuses. The FAO added that prior to the rollout of the new open access tool; work was done to calculate the role that smallholders played in feeding the world. The FAO added that as the new domain is further populated with information ‘more granular and policy-relevant analyses will be easier to conduct, both by the FAO and governments and researchers in Member countries.’

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