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Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Bayer announces series of collaborations

Life sciences giant will cooperate with a number of organisations on food security, sustainability and the fight against citrus greening

Bayer announces series of collaborations

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At Fruit Logistica 2019 in Berlin, Bayer will announce new collaboration agreements with some companies active in the agricultural sector, with research institutes and with the American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), an intergovernmental organisation in the Americas.

The IICA, with 34 member countries, has signed a general cooperation agreement to promote food security and sustainable development in agriculture. The strategic partnership with Bayer aims to drive sustainable agriculture and support the countries in the Americas to reach food security through joint initiatives in areas such as biotechnology, bioinputs, pollination and food production.

“IICA has a very strong network in the Americas, they’re true pioneers in driving sustainability and innovation in agriculture through cooperation,” said Mathias Kremer, countrygroup division head crop science Andean countries and Centralamerica/Carribean. “Together we will promote good agricultural practices, food security and support farmers in the sustainable production of crops.”

According to the group, Bayer and the IICA share similar interests, particularly with respect to innovation, science and technology. Both parties are expecting from their partnership a revitalisation of agriculture, translating into greater benefits for Latin American and the Caribbean.

Bayer will also sign an alliance with five citrus companies in Argentina during the fair to design an integrated strategy against a powerful enemy: Citrus Greening disease, also called Huanglongbing (HLB). Bayer’s new partners in its fight against the disease are the producers San Miguel Agrícola, Argenti Lemon, Grupo Ledesma, Citromax and Citrusvil.

The project will be developed over three years in the most important areas of citrus production in northwestern Argentina. Under the cooperation agreement, Bayer will provide innovative solutions to protect citrus crops in Argentina, one of the biggest global producers of the fruit.

Bayer will also offer pest management knowledge to ensure proper and efficient use of its products in a sustainable way. Supervised trials will be conducted by the participating citrus companies, starting most likely in 2020. The objective is to implement a strategy against Diaphorina citri, the vector insect responsible for the transmission of HLB, causing a bacterial infection of the plants.

Working together for sustainable agriculture is what the Bayer Food Chain Partnership business model is all about. At the fair, Bayer’s partner for many years – the Israeli company Netafim – will exhibit in the Bayer booth. As global leader in precision irrigation, Netafim has been part in several initiatives, for example Bayer ForwardFarming, DripByDrip, and the Better Life Farming alliance.

“For some time now, we’ve been working together on further improving targeted application of crop protection products through irrigation system,” said Gal Yarden, SVP corporate commercial solutions at Netafim. “Joining Bayer at their booth at Fruit Logistica is a great testament to our successful collaboration over the years.”

Extending this partnership, Bayer, Netafim, and Ben-Gurion University have entered into a three-year research collaboration, focusing on the integration of digital tools for optimizing precision application of the Bayer nematicide Velum.

Bayer will also present its new vegetable seeds portfolio. Since last year’s acquisition of Monsanto, Bayer has become the market leader in the segment, with a global presence and a wide portfolio for customers with the option to choose from the best suited varieties.

Newly developed tomato, broccoli and cauliflower varieties will be showcased at Fruit Logistica. Delisher is a tomato variety launched under the De Ruiter brand. Delisher tomatoes are a delicious cherry plum tomato that outshines other varieties because of its sweet taste, texture, and looks. They are strongly attached to their truss, a great additional product benefit that ensures fruit will stay attached until after harvest.

A second crop deserving growers’ attention is higher yielding broccoli that delivers excellent taste. Some consumers prefer a milder and sweeter taste. Under the Seminis Bellaverde broccoli brand, Bayer has launched varieties like “Sibsey” – a sweeter, crunchy broccoli variety that has an appealing uniform green colour to make it also usable for snacking.

In the cauliflower segment, Bayer will showcase its new Whitex variety within the Curdivex cauliflower range. It has an appealing white curd and the ability to give the grower a more flexible harvest window. The crop has an easy to see curd which helps making harvest more efficient. It also has excellent shelf life with the curd staying whiter for longer, which is very appealing to retailers and consumers.

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