Bayer Crop Science: first strategic partner in the “Living Soils of the Americas” initiative
San Jose, 1 March 2021 (IICA). Bayer Crop Science has become the first strategic partner in the “Living Soils of the Americas” initiative, launched by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and Professor Rattan Lal, Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center (CMASC), to tackle soil degradation – a phenomenon that is threatening countries’ capacity to sustainably satisfy their food demand.
The announcement was made by Natasha Santos, Vice-President of Global Stakeholders’ Strategy & Affairs at Bayer Crop Science, a company that has an ongoing general cooperation agreement with IICA, primarily to promote agricultural development and rural well-being and to support agroindustry in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Among other priorities—the framework of an agreement includes exchange of agronomic and scientific knowledge, advanced management strategies, technical cooperation and expansion of training programs to bolster sustainability and food security.
“As a scientific and agricultural organization, Bayer is working to offer new innovations and commercial models that will assist farmers to restore soil health and reduce the environmental footprint of agriculture. We are pleased to be the first private sector entity to come on board this ‘Living Soils of the Americas’ initiative and we look forward to working with IICA and Professor Lal to find solutions that sustainably satisfy food demand”, remarked Natasha Santos.
Manuel Otero, Director General of IICA, underscored the importance of reversing soil degradation, because it is “a pressing challenge that we are facing”, indicating that living soil is vital to productivity, the income of producers, biodiversity and the well-being of rural and urban communities.
Otero remarked that, “The soil rewards those who treat it properly with increasing levels of productivity, as well as ecosystem services and biodiversity. In short, it improves the well-being of the families living on it”, said Otero, while emphasizing the strategic nature of public-private partnerships.
The “Living Soils of the Americas” initiative is an extensive public and private sector collaborative effort, in which technical cooperation will work with governments, international organizations, universities, the private sector and civil society organizations to contribute to curbing land and agricultural degradation, which is depleting the organic matter in soils.
Soils are an essential natural resource for human development and maintaining the health of cultivated land is one of the most important challenges that agriculture in the Americas faces today.
This degradation, which is accelerating at alarming speeds, threatens the world’s capacity to sustainably satisfy the current and projected demand for food in the future.
Institutional Communication Division of IICA.