Continued population growth, increasing protein consumption, decreasing arable land per capita, climate change and growing pressure on limited natural resources all point to the need for more innovation and a stronger focus on sustainability in agriculture. At the same time, emerging markets in Asia, shifts in consumption patterns, advancements in life science technologies and the next wave of digitalization are set to shape the industry in the long-term.
As the largest integrated player in the agricultural industry with a leading portfolio in corn, soybeans, cereals and horticulture, we recognize our responsibility to address the challenges outlined above. Our strategy is based on three pillars: innovation, digitalization and sustainability. Guided by this approach, we aim to set new industry standards.
Our researchers deliver high-yielding seed varieties with effective traits, combined with cutting edge chemical and biological crop protection products. By combining R&D platforms, we are able to unlock new potential and deliver integrated solutions to farmers.
As a leader in digital farming, we aim to drive the transformation of our business as we look to offer tailored solutions to our customers, automate processes and increase R&D productivity. At the same time, we are digitally connecting farms on a leading common platform to help create new value for our customers. New service- and data-based models will supplement or in some cases replace our conventional business.
More sustainable models for farming are crucial to counteracting the growing loss of biodiversity and tackling climate change. At the same time, the demand for food will continue to rise. In a bid to effectively address these challenges, sustainability parameters will become key considerations in R&D and business decisions. We are also looking to increase food security: by 2030, we aim to help 100 million smallholder farmers in low- and middle-income countries produce enough food to feed themselves and others, and to improve their incomes. To achieve this goal, we will further expand our product and service portfolio. This will include providing access to tailored digital solutions. By collaborating and partnering with research institutes, nongovernmental organizations, companies and social start-ups, for instance, we aim to improve access to agronomic expertise, products and services specifically for smallholders. A good example of this is the Better Life Farming alliance, which is already supporting smallholder farmers with training courses, market access and technology, as well as financing options. Through these efforts, we can make an important contribution to strengthening local food production and reducing rural poverty. Attainment of this goal is to be assessed based on the number of smallholder farmers in low- and middle-income countries supported by products, services and partnerships. In addition, we have also set ourselves the objective of increasing environmental and climate protection. With the aid of new technologies and business models, we aim to help customers reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the field and lower the environmental footprint of the crop protection products they use.