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An estimated 550 million smallholder farmers feed more than half of the population in low- and middle-income countries. Owning small plots of land where they can typically only harvest one or two crops, smallholders can lack the resources needed to support their families and communities.
These farmers face unique challenges that require tailored solutions. At Bayer, we want to enable 100 million smallholder farmers in such countries around the world by providing more access to agricultural solutions that are sustainable. We aim to support them through collaborative partnerships and innovative solutions that expand agricultural know-how to address their most challenging issues.
Innovation for smallholder farmers
We want to empower smallholders to reach their potential and foster reliable growth for their businesses, communities, and livelihoods.One way that we do this is through continued innovation. With each solution, we aim to grow businesses, support agriculture, contribute to smallholder farmers’ lives, and generate value for society. For example, better productivity in the field creates more opportunities for education, which means progress on the farm is just the beginning.
Our FarmRise™ mobile application brings free information and advice directly to smallholders’ fingertips.
With real-time weather and market pricing information, as well as expert agronomic advice and actionable data, FarmRise™ empowers farmers to grow enough, sustainably. Using satellite and drone data, the app provides real-time crop updates, increasing what smallholders can grow —reducing time on the farm, and empowering farmers to seek fair prices for their crops at local marketplaces.
At Bayer, we’ve developed new seed varieties that directly address the effects of certain pest and climate conditions that have an impact on smallholder harvests.
One new variety of Arize—a first-of-its-kind hybrid rice seed which we launched earlier in 2018 in India —has been bred with resistance against Brown Plant Hopper and Bacterial Leaf Blight, which both cause huge crop losses. Another Arize rice variety that can survive more than 15 days under a sustained flood was introduced in Bangladesh, where frequent flooding had a serious impact on farmers’ rice harvests.
By enabling farmers to grow more efficiently and sustainably, we’re helping smallholder families, communities, and businesses to thrive —while reducing their use of natural resources.
Working together to find answers
Smallholder farmers have the ability to move in leaps and bounds when it comes to eradicating hunger for our world. We aim to empower them through innovative and collaborative partnerships that expand agricultural know-how to address their most challenging issues.
The Better Life Farming Alliance provides holistic and innovative solutions for smallholder farmers in the developing world, enabling them to grow their farms into sustainable businesses.
Together with partners, the global alliance offers a comprehensive approach — including seed planting, precision irrigation, crop protection, finance, and insurance — with solutions tailored to the needs of individual farmers. The alliance aims to help smallholders realize their potential, encouraging farming not only to survive, but rather to thrive.
The Farm to Market Alliance helps smallholder farmers receive relevant information, investment, and support from seed to market, enabling them to increase their income at the marketplace. Since 2015, FtMA has helped orchestrate over $30 million in smallholder crop sales to commercial buyers and has significantly increased transactions between smallholders and formal markets.
Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) The TELA Maize Project is a multi-stakeholder, public-private partnership aimed at improving food security and livelihoods among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa by combating the negative impacts of droughts and insects on maize crops — the main source of food for more than 300 million Africans. Our contributions include providing research and offering technical expertise to develop and deploy locally adapted maize hybrids that are available royalty-free to small-scale farmers throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
With smallholder farmers operating on 24 percent of the world's agricultural land, their responsibility is anything but “small.” As we work with our partners to find tailored solutions and better answers, it’s important that we consider the small ways that agriculture can have a big impact.