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Interaction with Benoit Hartmann, Bayer on BioAg Industry: Understanding it Better

Updated: Feb 12, 2021

BioAg Indsutry is booming with opportunities, at the same time portrays unique challenges. These prospects and hurdles make it an interesting and most sought-after field by innovators and investors. We are all geared up to meet with all the stakeholders in 3 days BioAg World Congress 2021 (March 15-17) and discuss scope, opportunities, issues and concerns of BioAg Industry. To give best value to our participants and readers, we went ahead and interacted with a very well known personality of BioAg Industry, Benoit Hartmann, to better understand this industry. Here is what he told us:

Q1. Bayer is a pioneer in Crop Protection. How do you see the role of Bio-pesticides in the agriculture industry given increasing population and environmental concerns, in view of food safety and security (food chain)?

For biologicals overall, we know that consumers are increasingly interested in how their food is grown and want to know that farming practices are environmentally sustainable. It is even broader than food safety and security, Biological products already play a role in helping farmers reduce their CO2 emissions and, using seed treatments as an example, can help their crops use fertilizer more efficiently. On farms across the world, these biological tools are complementing conventional synthetic products so farmers can have more bountiful harvests and do so in an environmentally sustainable way.

Q2. What as per you are the most important differences amongst users of chemical and bio-agriculture inputs and what is their driving force?

Chemicals and biologicals are both valuable tools in Crop Protection and growers need to have access to both. Our goal is not to separate biologicals from other crop protection practices but to show how to complement and enhance them in in conventional farming systems. Biologicals for example are offering new perspectives for residue and resistance management, improvement of root and soil health and increase of nutrient uptake.

Q3. Bayer has always been known for its R&D and has a facility for microbe-discovery. What is your stand on the efficacy of bio-pesticides viz-a-viz chemical pesticides?

Efficacy is not the only driver to select crop protection solutions, but it is definitively an important one! We have learned that by understanding the environmental factors influencing the efficacy we can predict the efficacy depending on the conditions and make recommendations for their use. Our leadership in digital platforms has been key for that. In addition, we are working on the next generation of biologicals that will have improved efficacy compared to the current commercial products.

Q4. Bayer is an organization with global reach, what do you think is the most prime and lucrative market for bioag inputs and why?

Biologicals provide complementary ways of managing pests and diseases, while boosting crop efficiency, making them a perfect fit in modern integrated agriculture management programs. With consumers demand for safe and more sustainably grown food, Biologicals form an increasingly significant part of pest and disease control systems in horticulture markets. Some biologicals act symbiotically with the crop to increase growth and nutrient uptake and prime the plant’s natural defenses, and opportunity for broadacre crops specifically in the Americas. Biologicals will show their true potential when used in integrated management programs and complement traditional control methods. Biologicals are not a compromise between organic and conventional agriculture, but instead they embrace the full toolkits of both to enable more sustainable farming solutions.

Q5. Why are events like BioAg World Congress important for the agriculture industry especially the bio-agriculture sector?

Personally, I’m always grateful to learn from the world-class experts both presenting and from attendees asking challenging questions in the Q&A sessions. From the Bayer perspective, we feel like we can provide value to the community by explaining some of the research and development success we’ve had – and how others can overcome some of the challenges we faced. Maybe most importantly, we are always interested in collaborating. Our research and development engine is aided by our “open innovation” model, which I believe benefits our partners, the industry and ultimately growers.

To know more from Benoit and gain insights in to BioAg Industry and how Bayer is revolutionizing BioAg, join us at BioAg World Congress 2021.

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