At the Global Forum for Innovation in Agriculture, held in Utrecht, Netherlands, from May 9 -10, 2017, Bayer underlined its commitment to making a positive contribution to global agriculture by focusing on finding innovative solutions and collaborating with partners from around the globe.


Liam Condon, member of the Board of Management and head of the Crop Science division, at the Global Forum for Innovation in Agriculture in Utrecht, Netherlands.

“True innovation is becoming more and more dependent on smart networks of organizations working across multiple disciplines,” said Liam Condon (pictured), member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and Head of the Crop Science Division. “We have a variety of important partnerships and initiatives that increase our innovation output and help promote sustainable agriculture.”

As an example, Bayer highlighted its Food Chain Partnership initiative, which has been successfully connecting farmers and other value chain stakeholders for more than ten years. The aim is to drive the implementation of sustainable farming practices in over 30 countries.

“We are constantly looking for new partners to join hands in bringing more innovation and sustainability to agriculture worldwide,” said Ronald Guendel, Head of Food Chain Partnership at Bayer. “For us, it is important that these initiatives are meaningful and lasting. In our project in the Ivory Coast for instance, 16,800 cocoa farmers have been trained in Good Agricultural Practices and now benefit from higher yields and better quality,” he added. “Professionally, this has improved their access to markets, which means higher income. Personally, this has improved their standard of living.”

Successful Partnerships along the food chain

This initiative and others were discussed at the forum, including experts in farmer training on Good Agricultural Practices, farm advice on integrated solutions, and certification. With its partner GlobalG.A.P, Bayer promoted its new project in India, where small-scale vegetable farmers are certified using the BayG.A.P system. BayG.A.P. is a training tool that enables farmers to comply with quality standards and international certification schemes. Local and global certification systems make sure producers meet international standards and follow sustainable growing practices.

The discussion also revolved around the production and certification of sustainable soy in Brazil together with Bayer’s partner Cefetra, and sustainable potato production in Belgium and the Netherlands. Here, Bayer highlighted its partnership with Farm Frites, which brings together farmers to exchange on topics such as surface water protection.

Learn more about the ‘Tour de Farm’ project with Farm Frites on: http://www.foodchainpartnership.cropscience.bayer.com/en/News-Overview/News/2017/170504-Tour-de-Farm-2017.aspx.

Find more information on Bayer Food Chain Partnership and its initiatives: http://www.foodchainpartnership.cropscience.bayer.com/.

New digital solutions for sustainable potato farming

To create awareness of how innovation and technology can drive sustainability in agriculture, Bayer invited participants of the Forum to visit the Bayer ForwardFarm ‘Het Groene Hart’ (https://www.cropscience.bayer.com/static/farmer-jasper-roubos/index.html) in Abbenes, Netherlands. The ForwardFarm implements digital technologies to increase productivity and to foster sustainable production of potatoes. Visitors were able to experience soil scanning techniques as a basis for variable planting density, in-field digital monitoring of the yield, and crop scanning technologies to support optimum timing and variable rate application of fertilizer and crop protection products.

On the farm, Bayer announced its participation in the Internet of Food & Farm 2020 project (IoF2020). This collaboration – co-funded by the European Union – started in January 2017 with the aim of developing innovative Internet of Things (IoT) solutions by improving and connecting digital applications already available on the European market.

“It is important that we provide farmers with hands-on digital solutions that they can directly implement and adapt to their farming routine. To ensure a seamless experience for the customer, we need to work with partners along the value chain”, said Tobias Menne, Head of Digital Farming at Bayer.

The IoF2020 project involves 71 partners. As one of them, Bayer contributes in developing the best digital solutions for effective and sustainable potato farming. “Just as sensors and machines should work together, partners developing and using IoT technologies need each other”, concluded Dr. George Beers, IoF2020 project manager at Wageningen University, Netherlands.

The first results of trials in potato farming are expected by the end of 2017. The plan is to replicate the European model and provide potato farmers in other parts of the world with these innovative solutions. The Bayer ForwardFarm ‘Het Groene Hart’ serves as one of the platforms to test and integrate them.

Find out more about Bayer ForwardFarming and the farm ‘Het Groene Hart’: https://www.cropscience.bayer.com/en/crop-science/forwardfarming.

Experience the highlights of the Global Forum for Innovation in Agriculture 2017 at http://live.cropscience.bayer.com/Event/Global_forum_for_innovations_in_Agriculture_Events.

About IoF2020:

The Internet of Food & Farm 2020 (IoF2020) project investigates and fosters a large-scale implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) in the European farming and food sector. With a EUR 30 million budget co-funded by the European Union, the project has the potential to bring about a paradigm shift in the digitalization of agriculture, by drastically improving productivity and sustainability. It will demonstrate the added value of smart webs of connected sensors and machines that treat plants according to their needs, and will be controlled remotely across the agri-food sector. Focusing on 19 use cases spread throughout Europe, the project provides solutions to five agri-food areas – arable farming, dairy, meat, vegetables and fruits – and takes into account their needs and obstacles encountered in each area. The project started on January 1, 2017 and will run for four years. IoF2020 consists of 71 partners from 16 countries and is coordinated by the University of Wageningen, Netherlands. You can find more information on: https://iof2020.eu/iof/iof2020

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