“During the World Seed Congress, there has been a deep and profound dialogue around the contribution of seed companies to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Tomas Zaborowski, Head of Sustainability Excellence at Bayer. As practically all of the food consumed across the world is produced by farmers and supplied through agricultural value chains operated by the private sector, it puts business at the heart of transforming the global food system, achieving the change required for meeting the targets. “Contributions of the seed industry have a major impact on both diets and sustainable intensification for food production worldwide,” Zaborowski pointed out.
Smallholder farmers play an important role in this context as they account for up to 80% of the food consumed in developing countries. Bayer strives to provide smallholders with diverse, well-adapted high-quality seed choices, as well as services and support to increase yields under local conditions. On the current global Access to Seeds Index, an independent measure that evaluates global seed companies based on their efforts to improve access to quality seeds for smallholder farmers in four focus regions, Bayer ranks third. The company is determined to expand its reach to as many as 100 million smallholders by 2030. While the details of this commitment are still being worked out, measures will include education, partnerships and tailored solutions to meet the needs and challenges of individual farmers.