Bayer supports 4 lakh smallholder farmers impacted by Covid-19 with Better Life Farming care packages
India, Mumbai, June 17, 2020: To support smallholder farmers who are facing additional challenges due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Bayer has introduced a new global initiative – ‘Better Farms, Better Lives’. Through this initiative, Bayer will support 2 million (20 lakh) smallholder farmers in Asia, Africa and Latin America, with free Better Life Farming care packages. These packages will be tailored to farmers’ local needs and will include a combination of Bayer’s hybrid seeds, crop protection products, personal protective equipment and safety & training materials.
In India, the initiative will support 4,00,000 smallholder farmers in 204 districts across 17 states, spanning key crops such as rice, corn, vegetables and millet. Special focus will be given to women smallholder farmers and migrant labourers who have returned to their villages and plan to take up farming in their small family farms.
Each smallholder farmer will receive one package (free of cost) containing hybrid seeds of the crops cultivated in their region and crop protection inputs. In addition, Bayer will handhold farmers from sowing to harvest with advisory on crop, disease & pest management and help improve market access for their produce. The package will also contain face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) to support farmers’ health & safety needs. Besides distributing packages, Bayer will provide training to farmers to improve capacity building on the use of modern agricultural technologies.
“Smallholder farmers play a crucial role in ensuring food security for India, but the ongoing Covid-19 situation has impacted their ability to grow sufficient food for their families and communities. Lockdowns and restrictions on movement have impacted access to seeds, crop protection inputs and labor,” said D Narain, CEO, Bayer CropScience Limited and Global Lead for Bayer’s Smallholder Farming initiatives.
“Bayer’s ‘Better Farms, Better Lives’ initiative will provide immediate additional support to smallholder farmers in the form of agri-inputs and advisory during this Kharif season and beyond. It will also strengthen the livelihoods of smallholder communities most impacted by Covid-19. In the long-term, we aim to help smallholder farmers achieve higher crop yields and use their farms as a source of sustainable income, rather than just a means to survive,” added D Narain.
Bayer will distribute the care packages to smallholder farmers in India through its local networks of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs) and Self-Help Groups (SHGs) focused on agriculture. At a later stage, Bayer will conduct third-party impact assessment studies to gauge the value created through this initiative in terms of food security and livelihood support.
Bayer is committed to helping more than 100 million smallholder farmers in developing countries by 2030. The immediate Covid-19 response through the ‘Better Farms, Better Lives’ initiative complements Bayer’s ongoing smallholder support activities, which will aid in mid-term recovery and building long-term resilience for smallholder farmers. Additionally, Bayer will expand its partnerships with governments, internationally recognized NGOs and local organizations; create a Smallholder Center of Excellence for sharing successes; provide accelerated access to digital farming tools to increase capabilities and scale up existing & new value chain partnerships to generate maximum impact.
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2019, the Group employed around 104,000 people and had sales of € 43.5 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to € 2.9 billion and R&D expenses to € 5.3 billion. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.
Communications, Bayer CropScience Limited
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