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Bayer Committed 160 Million USD to Zero Hunger Pledge

Companies that sign the pledge agree to invest money, resources, and expertise in areas of concern in the regions where they do business. Bayer's contribution will benefit communities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Shivam Dwivedi
Bayer
Bayer

Bayer has signed the Zero Hunger Private Sector Pledge, joining like-minded companies in the private sector, with a 160 million US dollar commitment to help end global hunger. The Pledge recognises the need for governments and the private sector to collaborate to end food scarcity in the context of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 and as part of the Summit's Zero Hunger Coalition.

Companies that sign the pledge agree to invest money, resources, and expertise in areas of concern in the regions where they do business. Bayer's contribution will benefit communities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

"At Bayer, where we work every day toward realising our vision of Health for All, Hunger for None," said Rodrigo Santos, Member of the Board of Bayer AG and President of the company's Crop Science Division, who will outline Bayer's commitment during a panel discussion in the Sustainable Development Goals tent at The World Economic Forum in Davos. "This crisis affects us all and requires everyone's help to resolve." Our pledge puts Bayer's commitment to ending hunger into action by aligning our investments and business operations to achieve this goal."

Bayer drives its Zero Hunger Pledge commitments on multiple levels as a global agriculture leader committed to advancing sustainable farming for the benefit of growers, consumers, and the planet. This includes assisting smallholder farmers in gaining access to high-tech seeds, educating communities on sustainable agricultural practises, providing farming solutions to growers, and introducing smallholder farmers to new income-generating opportunities. More than half of Bayer’s investment to be in vegetable seeds and R&D to support smallholder farmers

Smallholder farmers are critical to ending hunger, and high-quality seeds are critical to their ability to produce safe and nutritious food for their communities. Bayer has pledged to invest more than $100 million of its total commitment in research and development to get quality vegetable seeds into the hands of smallholder farmers.

These farmers will receive improved varieties of quality seeds critical to local diets, such as okra and bitter gourd, from Bayer's Vegetable Seeds business. They will also have access to innovative farming solutions, such as the Ansal tomato, that are designed to reduce field and post-harvest losses.

This variety has a longer shelf life and firmer fruit, which is already reducing losses in India from around 30% to less than 10%. Donating vegetable seeds to non-profit organisations is also part of the commitment to combat hunger and increase consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Bayer's pioneering work on hybrid rice has already benefited approximately 3.5 million smallholder farmers in Asia. A new commitment of more than $50 million for Bayer's Arize hybrid rice will provide even more growers with seeds designed to improve yield while also optimising water and nitrogen efficiency. One Arize variety introduced in India is already assisting growers in combating Brown Plant Hopper and Bacterial Leaf Blight, both of which cause significant crop losses.

Another hybrid can survive for more than two weeks in sustained flood water, which farmers in Bangladesh frequently face. Bayer is also looking for a way to grow hybrid rice in high salinity water and in the presence of other physical or biological stressors. All varieties are intended to assist farmers in increasing their income, livelihood, and contribution to food security in their communities.

Bayer's remaining commitment includes investments in partnerships and new programmes. Bayer, in collaboration with Netafim and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), will make farming solutions, agronomic advice, and good agricultural practises available to rural growers by supporting Better Life Farming. Bayer, in collaboration with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), supports farmers in becoming certified and connected to the food value chain through its programme BayG.A.P.

In addition, Bayer's funding will be used to support sustainable practises as well as education and training programmes through the Modern Breeding Project with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). This project alone is expected to benefit more than 100 million smallholder farmers who cultivate crops on approximately 60 million hectares in Sub-Saharan Africa's humid and semiarid zones.

"Collaborating with Bayer supports our commitment to promoting agricultural development," said Dr. Manuel Otero, Director General of IICA. "We hope that others will follow their lead and sign the Pledge, so that we can all continue to work to improve the well-being of others."

"At Bayer, we will continue to review and re-evaluate ways we can assist in the fight against food scarcity," Santos said. "There is no one-size-fits-all solution in agriculture, but by collaborating with growers and others who have made this pledge, we will all have the best chance of ending world hunger."

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