Bayer has announced the expansion of the Bayer ForwardFarming network to Latin America. Agrícola Testa, in Argentina, and Fazenda Nossa Senhora Aparecida, in Brazil, are the first Bayer ForwardFarms outside Europe. Bayer ForwardFarming is a knowledge platform for farmers, focused on customized agronomic solutions, proactive stewardship and partnerships.
The farm in Argentina, Agrícola Testa, lies near Pergamino (Buenos Aires) and has been managed by the Testa family for three generations. Primarily growing soybeans, corn and wheat on the 1,130-hectare farm, the Testa brothers regard agriculture as their reason for living. They also offer contractual services to other farmers in the region, sharing their land and agricultural practices with fellow farmers.
"Farming is the only thing we know quite well; it is our passion. Joining the ForwardFarming network is an incredible opportunity to bring even more innovation to our business and also to build a better future for future generations, through sustainable agriculture," said Marcelo Testa.
The farm in Brazil, Fazenda Nossa Senhora Aparecida, covers near 2,700 hectares north of Brasilia. The Fiorese family founded the farm in 1995 and has a long history of farming soybeans, winter corn, field beans, wheat and sorghum in the Brazilian Cerrados. The family believes that the key to success in farming is to implement new technologies and connect social and environmental aspects to show that sustainability is possible in agriculture.
"Thinking about the future of agriculture and the future of my own family has inspired me to join Bayer ForwardFarming," said farmer Oli Antônio Fiorese. "I truly believe that working in partnership with Bayer and using new technologies will give us the opportunity to grow our businesses in a sustainable way and being able to share our knowledge with other farmers." The ForwardFarming presence in Latin America is also set to expand to Chile, where an official launch is planned for early 2018.
Each region of the world faces unique challenges addressing and implementing sustainable agricultural practices. There is therefore a critical need for ForwardFarms that represent diverse regions, climates and conditions. Beside this diversity, Latin America is responsible for a significant amount of the world's agricultural production and the use of innovation and sustainable practices on farming in the region is therefore necessary to increase productivity and supply food for the global demand.
"We are really proud to extend now our ForwardFarm network to Latin America. Argentina and Brazil are very important agricultural markets, both absolutely essential in producing food and feed for a growing world demand, but also in driving agricultural innovation," said Bernd Naaf, head of Business Affairs and Communications at Bayer’s Crop Science Division. "This is a great opportunity to partner with local independent farmers and demonstrate that high-quality seeds, innovative crop protection products and digital technologies can be effective not just many years in the future but right now, helping farmers produce enough safe food."
"The addition of these farms in Latin America will encourage progressive, and increasingly globalized, dialog with farmers and other players across the value chain, as well as with society, about all aspects of sustainable agriculture in practice," said Dr. Klaus Kirsch, global manager for Bayer ForwardFarming. "We are excited about the expansion of the ForwardFarming network across continents."