ADM, Bayer partner on sustainable soybean management program in India

INDIA — Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) and Bayer have signed a 3-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) to partner on a sustainable crop management program set to benefit thousands of soybean farmers in India.

In India, ADM’s primary business is processing oilseeds into edible oils, animal feeds and feed ingredients. The multinational food processing and commodities trading corporation has a large network of farmers in the Indian states of Maharashtra and Karnataka, through Krishi Vikas Kendras’ (KVK) network of more than 50 crop development and procurement centers.

In these centers, agronomists train local farmers in best agricultural practices, as well as procurement services as part of ADM’s Sustainability Program that offers small landholding farmers training in socioeconomic and environmental sustainability principles and third-party audits, through the European organization, ProTerra Foundation.

Speaking on the partnership, Simon-Thorsten Wiebusch, Country Divisional Head – Crop Science Division of Bayer for India, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka, said, “In contrast to cereal production, India is far from self-sufficient in edible oil production, importing nearly 60% of its domestic edible oil requirement.”

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“Increasing the yield of soybean cultivation sustainably is essential to reduce import dependency and increase the income for soybean farmers to increase the attractiveness of the crop.”

Through ADM’s network, Bayer, a global health care, nutrition and agricultural sciences company, aims to reach 25,000 soybean farmers in in the first year.

Bayer will provide a specialized schedule of crop management prepared in consultation with ADM and agricultural universities for all the crops in the working area as and when required.

The company will also develop a crop protection package for all crops of soybean and pulses by providing legally permitted, non-hazardous crop protection chemicals as allowed under sustainable crop production principles. 

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Bayer will follow a seed-to-market approach with the inclusion of sustainability elements such as complete package promotion of seed treatment, pesticides and agronomic advisory along with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices.

It also will demonstrate good agricultural practices on demonstration plots and conduct field visits for extending practical experience to farmers. 

Finally, ADM will ensure that the partner farmers are using the crop protection inputs as per expert recommendations of the Bayer team. Seed treatment training also will be provided through Bayer Roller Mixer machines at the sowing time following all safety protocols.

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Regular training will be provided to the ADM cluster agronomist team in soybean markets on complete crop cultivation practices such as nutrition and pesticide schedules, BayG.A.P and Proterra principle (train the trainer) training.

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