Friday - December 09, 2016

Bayer presents a New Action Plan for Rice Farming in Vietnam

Bayer CropScience Vietnam was a key sponsor of the Rice Symposium 2013 held today in Ho Chi Minh City.

Organized by the Vietnam Economic Times in collaboration with the Vietnam Food Association, the half-day event brought together more than 250 participants representing key stakeholders from across the public and private sectors, including industry leaders from Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, to discuss solutions and opportunities for business co-operation in the rice export industry. One of the pertinent issues discussed in the meeting was how to improve income for local Vietnamese farmers.

 

During the period from the year 2000 to 2012, Vietnam's rice exports increased from 3.5 million tons to 8.1 million tons, with an increased value of $2 to $3.7 billion. As of July 2013, rice exports of the country reached more than 4.23 million tons, worth $1.86 billion. The country’s rice export performance has shown good momentum; however, the income of farmers has not seen a corresponding increase. Some of the key reasons identified include: rice production remains on a small scale with the majority of rice farmers in Vietnam being smallholder farmers; there is no product branding; rice production and transaction costs are high; there is not enough investment in technologies to help increase production, among others. These factors have resulted in higher prices of Vietnam’s rice compared to the region, thereby affecting the competitiveness of the country’s rice industry, while the livelihood of Vietnamese farmers remained challenging.

 

During the event, thought leaders in the rice industry discussed and proposed many solutions to solve the problem and also to support the farmers. According to Prof. Nguyen Van Luat, former Director of the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute, the local rice production should be restructured. “The ‘roots’ of the rice industry and supply chain are the farmers. And the ‘roots’ should be firm before the rice industry can develop strongly. Therefore, all solutions beneficial to farmers should be studied and applied,” said Prof. Luat. In addition, Prof. Dr. Bui Chi Buu, Director of Southern Agricultural Science and Technology Institute, was of the view that the solution to “improve rice quality is also crucial to reach an advanced rice production in an efficient and sustainable way.”

 

Bayer’s action plan for rice farming in Vietnam

 

In this regard, Mr. Torsten Velden, Country Head of Bayer CropScience Vietnam, who was also one of the keynote speakers for the event, outlined a holistic four-point plan to improve rice farming and the livelihood of rice farmers in Vietnam. This includes: (1) leading innovation to address the key challenges of rice farming through new and modern solutions; (2) enabling farmers by providing them with tools, technology and training; (3) raising agricultural productivity in an environmentally-compatible and sustainable manner; and (4) expanding partnerships across the rice value chain and between the public and private sectors.

Bayer’s action plan for rice farming in Vietnam

 

In this regard, Mr. Torsten Velden, Country Head of Bayer CropScience Vietnam, who was also one of the keynote speakers for the event, outlined a holistic four-point plan to improve rice farming and the livelihood of rice farmers in Vietnam. This includes: (1) leading innovation to address the key challenges of rice farming through new and modern solutions; (2) enabling farmers by providing them with tools, technology and training; (3) raising agricultural productivity in an environmentally-compatible and sustainable manner; and (4) expanding partnerships across the rice value chain and between the public and private sectors.

 

Mr. Torsten Velden - Country Head of Bayer CropScience Vietnam presented a new action plan for Vietnam rice industry

 

Speaking on the first step to ramp up investment in innovation, Mr. Velden said investing in agricultural research & development (R&D) was the most productive way to support agricultural growth in the long term. “At Bayer CropScience, we recognize the ongoing need for innovative solutions to help farmers and to help feed and protect our planet,” he said, reiterating the company’s commitment to invest 5 billion Euros in R&D from 2011 through to 2016. While Bayer CropScience will continue to drive innovative solutions to control pests, plant diseases and weeds, it is increasingly channeling its R&D investments into new areas of innovation, including high-yielding seeds and plant breeding techniques that focus on stress tolerance, as well as new compounds to improve plant health.

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 The company is also investing heavily in biological crop protection, where products to control pests and plant diseases are developed through biological modes of action. “Studies have shown a strong relationship between increased R&D spending and the positive impact on agricultural productivity. It is therefore is crucial that we invest now in R&D, to make a sustainable difference for farmers, for our planet, for the future,” he added.

 

In the second step, Mr. Velden discussed how to help farmers to leverage the full benefits of R&D and technology. “At Bayer CropScience, our relationships with farmers go beyond the product delivery point – to providing a package of integrated services including training, education, as well as stewardship and other advisory advices,” he explained. This is especially pertinent in Asia and Vietnam, as most farmers are smallholders and are not receiving the support, training and technology they need to leverage their full potential. In this sense, it is the role of both the public and private sectors to help farmers and enable them with the tools, technology and skills for them to sustainably improve their livelihood and economic situation.

 

Mr. Torsten Velden - Country Head of Bayer CropScience Vietnam is one of main memoir representatives in Rice Symposium 2013

 

Endorsed by the Cuu Long Rice Research Institute in Vietnam, the Bayer Much More Rice solution is an integrated rice production program harnessing improved agronomy and efficient use of crop protection inputs comprising the Bayer package of solutions, as well as solutions and protocols. Farmers who have used Bayer Much More Rice solution have seen higher yield and better quality rice, resulting in increased profits and income.

 

Banking on the success of the Bayer Much More Rice solution, Bayer CropScience is now driving the Rice Value Chain Project in Vietnam. Under this project, the company partners with Service of Agricultural and Rural Development, Plant Protection Sub Department and local authorities, research institutions such as Cuu Long Rice Research Institute, academia like Can Tho University, as well as retailers to offer farmers in an area an integrated package including the Much More Rice solution, training and on-farm consultancy services. The project has been rolled out on a pilot basis in some provinces in Vietnam such as Hau Giang, and participating farmers have seen a decrease in total input costs, as well as an increase in yield, which have led to as much as a 40 per cent increase in income. At the same time, authorities and partners were pleased to observe a significant increase in farmer education in the area of rice cultivation.

 

The third element of the action plan looks at raising agricultural productivity in an environmentally-compatible and sustainable manner. After listening to the needs of Vietnamese farmers, Bayer CropScience has developed a range of rice solutions which, while offering many benefits, are also environmentally-compatible and more sustainable. Such successful projects result from the company’s partnerships with farmers and partners across the rice value chain.

 

The last step of the four-point plan focuses on expanding and extending partnerships and collaboration across the rice value chain and between the public and private sectors. While the private sector continues to invest in science, products and services to help farmers, wider challenges – such as insufficient education and training; economic instability; poor infrastructure; as well as the lack of enforcement of regulations and intellectual property – call for the collective efforts of other stakeholders.

 

As a sponsor to the Rice Symposium 2013, Bayer CropScience Vietnam strongly supports the efforts of local decision makers and influencers to discuss and propose solutions to increase the value of Vietnam’s exported rice in general and to improve the livelihood of Vietnamese farmers in particular. Bayer CropScience Vietnam is ready and committed to join forces with local counterparts to secure the right educational, legal and economic frameworks required to breathe life into a New Action Plan for Vietnamese farmers, for agriculture, and for our planet – today and tomorrow.

 

About Bayer CropScience

 

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care,agriculture and high-tech materials. This year the company looks back on 150 years of working to fulfill its mission “Bayer: Science For A Better Life”. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 8,383 million (2012) and is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 20,800 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at: www.bayercropscience.com.