Closer Views on Modern Agriculture by Dirk Voeste
Agriculture forms the basis for food supply – one of the fundamental needs of humankind. Nevertheless, modern agriculture is facing more diverse and complex challenges than ever before: Around the world, farmers are expected to produce enough food for a rapidly growing population while finding smarter ways to cultivate the land in balance with nature – and as we saw especially during the last months – even in times of crisis and uncertainty. This complexity in agriculture is the “new normal” and brings in multiple opportunities such as the co-existence of cultivation systems, different societal accepted yield protection approaches or regional and dietary differences.
Another catalyst for innovation in the agricultural industry is climate change, which is why science-based solutions aim to use resources more efficiently and optimize processes through technology. As a result, they are making agriculture more sustainable whilst constantly optimizing yields. Farmers and landholders continuously work on this ‘front line’ with nature and the environment and are more than aware that the protection of ecosystems will benefit them and others in the long-term. In this regard, halting the loss of biodiversity is one of the most important tasks. This is evident when we consider for example the contribution of soil organisms, insects, bacteria, plants and fungi to agriculture. Together they provide for instance soil fertility and the breakdown of organic waste. In addition, strong vegetation not only protects against erosion, but also provides a home for predatory insects that help control pests such as aphids, and for bees that pollinate crops.
But it’s not only farmers and landowners, but everyone involved in the value chain who is responsible for driving agriculture in a sustainable way. So are we at BASF and so am I as Senior Vice President. This website aims to keep you updated on our approaches of finding the right balance between modern agriculture and sustainability.