Together we can sow the seeds of regenerative agriculture

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By Jessica Christiansen, Head of Sustainability of Bayer Crop Science

With global population expected to grow to 10 billion by 2050, it is estimated that rice production will need to increase by 25 percent in this same timeframe to meet demand and keep prices stable. At the same time rice is both pressured by the effects of, and an important contributor to climate change. It is estimated that rice production contributes to around 12 percent of methane emissions, 1.5 percent of global GHG emissions and consumes between 34−43 percent of the world’s total irrigation water.

The world therefore faces the enormous dual challenge of having to produce more rice for a growing population and doing so in a more climate-friendly and resource-efficient way. Indeed, the need to come together to shape more economically viable and sustainable rice cultivation systems has never been so pressing.

The International Rice Congress this October therefore comes at an opportune time, and I am looking forward to joining the biggest gathering of innovators, influencers, and industry from across the world to work together on one solution that holds great promise: A crop system based on Direct Seeded Rice.

At Bayer, we are committed to building entire systems based on regenerative agriculture practices that create value for farmers and nature alike, and Direct Seeded Rice is an excellent example of this. Using the most advanced R&D capabilities we are designing climate-resilient rice hybrids with higher yields that can be sown directly in the soil. This removes the need for transplanting into paddy fields and enables the mechanization of otherwise arduous, manual farming practices. We are also developing new ways for rice farmers to protect their crop from weeds, damaging insects and disease until harvest and providing rapidly advancing digital technologies…

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