71% of farmers say that climate change has a big impact on their activity, while 73% have experienced an increase in the number of pests and diseases in their fields. These are some of the conclusions of the survey Farmer’s Voice which is sponsored by Bayer and reveals the challenges facing farmers around the world as they strive to reduce the effects of climate change and adapt to the future.
To conduct the survey, presented by Bayer Crop Science at its global headquarters in Monheim, Germany, the company commissioned an independent agency to interview eight hundred farmers worldwide, representing in large and small farms from Germany, Australia, Brazil, China, the United States, India, Kenya and Ukraine in equal parts.
Farmers estimate that their income has decreased by 15.7% on average due to global warming in the last two years, and one in six farmers even identified a loss of income of more than 25% in this time. Three quarters of respondents are concerned about the impact of climate change on their farms, especially farmers in Kenya and India.
Rodrigo Santos, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and President of Bayer Crop Science, says that “farmers are already experiencing the adverse effects of climate change on their farms and, at the same time opportunity, will play an important role in solving it.” big challenge. That’s why it’s so important to put your voice front and center. The losses recorded in this survey highlight the direct threat posed by the change in climate of food security in the world. Due to the growth of the world population, the results should be a reason to adopt measures that promote changing agricultural models.
Although climate change is a dominant issue, economic challenges will be the highest priority for the next three years. More than half (55%) of farmers put the cost of fertilizer among their top three challenges, ahead of energy costs (47%), price and income volatility (37%) and the cost to protect plants (36%). The importance of fertilizer costs can be seen in Kenya, India and Ukraine.
In Ukraine, 70% of farmers cited the cost of fertilizers as one of the top three challenges, indicating that the concrete material consequences of the war put a lot of pressure on farmers. in the country. In addition, 40% cited the general disruption caused by the war as one of the main challenges. Likewise, Ukrainian farmers share many characteristics with their counterparts in the world, for example, more than three-quarters (77%) say that climate change has already affected their farms.
More than 80% of farmers surveyed have already adopted or plan to adopt measures that contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases
More than 80% of farmers surveyed have adopted or plan to adopt measures that contribute to greenhouse gas reduction. The main areas of interest are the use of vegetative covers (43% already or planning to do so), the use of renewable energy or biofuels (37%) and the use of new seeds to reduce the use of fertilizers or phytosanitary products (33%). Similarly, all the farmers surveyed confirmed that they are already applying or planning to use measures to help biodiversity. More than half (54%) said that they have already implemented measures to protect insects or plan to do so in the next three years.
To prepare for the future, farmers rely on innovation. 53% said that access to seeds and traits to better cope with extreme weather conditions would be most beneficial for their farm, while half called for better crop protection technology . 42% believe that better access to irrigation technology will benefit their farm. In terms of their practices, improving efficient land use, crop diversification, and improving soil quality and health are the most important paths to success, according to respondents.
Overall, the survey showed that farmers around the world generally share a common view of current challenges and future prospects. Although there are slight differences between countries, the common problems created by climate change and economic pressures are of equal concern to all. “Farmers face many interrelated challenges. Despite this, we conclude that they are optimistic: almost three quarters say they are positive about the future of agriculture in their country. This is surprising and encouraging,” said Rodrigo Santos, who added that the opinions expressed by farmers in the report “must be a call to action for the entire food system to change, collaborate and will offer the solutions that farmers need – and We, as Bayer, look forward to playing a leading role in these efforts. There is no time to lose.”