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Bayer Vietnam, specifically the subgroup responsible for the agriculture business Bayer CropScience, said that the company would continue working with Vietnam’s government, localities and farmers to apply climate-smart agriculture technologies to act as a driver of green growth for the fast-industrialising country, whose 70 per cent of population rely on agricultural activities for livelihood.
At the “Second Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change: Hunger for Action” in early September 2012 in Hanoi, in which Bayer acted as the sole sponsor, Bayer CropScience in Vietnam country head Torsten Velden highlighted climate change’s impacts on agriculture in Vietnam and company’s solutions to support local farmers to ensure the sustainable development of rice crops.
According to the United Nations Development Programme’s early September-released updated climate change fact sheet for Vietnam, for the next 30 years Vietnam is ranked 23rd of 193 countries and is one of 30 “extreme risk” countries.
Without major action such as dyke reinforcements and improved drainage, a one metre rise in means sea levels off Vietnam would threat 17,423 square kilometres or 5.3 per cent of Vietnam’s total land area. Specifically, it would threaten 39 per cent of the Mekong Delta, 10 per cent of Red River Delta, over 2.5 per cent of central coast provinces, and over 20 per cent of Ho Chi Minh City.
While Bayer CropScience has a unique position with a portfolio combining leading crop protection solutions and high-performing hybrid rice seeds, the company has provided solutions and advice to farmers to minimise climate change impacts. With the aim to enabling farmers to increase output and quality in a sustainable way, Bayer CropScience Vietnam has worked with Cuu Long Rice Research Institute to introduce the ‘Much More Rice’ concept. This concept helps farmer to increase agricultural efficiency, productivity and income by reducing losses, improving stress tolerance, reducing input fertilisers and pesticides, increasing quality and maximising yields.
At the conference, Bayer Vietnam also hosted a side event to exchange ideas with representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, local partners and country representatives on solutions for a sustainable agriculture in Vietnam.
Joachim Schneider, head of public affairs at Bayer CropScience AG, was the keynote speaker at the event and he shared information about Climate Change Programme of Bayer and Bayer CropScience. This programme has received a high interest from all participants. Schneider demonstrated the interconnections between climate change and agriculture, and underscored how Bayer CropScience’s complete portfolio of climate-smart solutions could help mitigate the global climate change challenge.
“Vietnam is in critical need of experience, knowledge and technologies from foreign countries, organisations and donors to build its low-carbon agriculture and implement its action programme in response to climate change of agriculture and rural development for the 2011-2015 period,” said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat.
According to Bayer, food security would remain a critical issue for Vietnam and the international community, given that global food production must rise by at least 70 per cent in 2050 in order to feed nine billion people. It recognised that food security, poverty, climate change, and sustainable development are closely linked, and could no longer be considered separately and that agricultural policies have an important role to play with regard to these challenges.
“As an inventor company Bayer aims at green approaches and sustainable development,” said David John Champion, general director of Bayer Vietnam.
Bayer has operated in Vietnam for more than 17 years with two current factories located in Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces. Since September 2009, its three subgroups office staffs which are Bayer CropScience, Bayer Healthcare and Bayer MaterialScience have moved altogether to CentrePoint office building in Ho Chi Minh City as its second branch office in Vietnam.