BASF commits to sustainable ag targets

14:18 PM | December 1, 2020 | Sanjiv Rana

BASF has set itself “clear and measurable” targets to boost sustainable agriculture by 2030. The company’s Agricultural Solutions division will annually increase its sales share of solutions with a “substantial” sustainability contribution by 7%. The company will also bring digital technologies to more than 400 million ha of farmland and continue stewardship programmes to ensure the safe use of its products. BASF aims to help farmers achieve a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions per tonne of crop produced.

The president of BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division, Vincent Gros, points out that over the coming decades, the agricultural food system will undergo an accelerated transformation to provide access to enough food for a growing world population. “At the same time, we will need to mitigate its impact on our planet,” he says.

The company says that it will support farmers to become more carbon efficient and resilient to volatile weather conditions with technologies that increase yield, make farm management more effective, and decrease environmental impact. Those include: crop protection products, such as the herbicide, saflufenacil (trade-marked as Kixor), that enable farmers to grow crops without ploughing; new crop varieties such as InVigor canola seeds with glufosinate-ammonium-tolerant LibertyLink technology, providing higher yield stability, especially under more severe weather conditions; biological inoculants and innovative digital solutions; and nitrogen management products such as Vibelsol and Vizura, that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Sustainable R&D

BASF aims to increase the number of sustainable solutions it brings to farmers. The company claims to be continuously investing in its R&D pipeline, steered systematically by sustainability criteria. It says that it assesses its entire product portfolio against clearly defined and third-party validated sustainability criteria. BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division will contribute “significantly” to the BASF Group target of €22 billion ($25.6 billion) in sales by 2025. In 2019, it said that it was targeting increased market share and growth of one percentage point above the agricultural inputs market, aiming for a 50% increase in sales by 2030.

Among its stewardship initiatives, the company cites protective equipment, customised training, digital solutions, and “new and future-oriented” application technologies, such as drones. Initiatives using drones have already been launched in China and Colombia, it says. BASF also points out the Easyconnect closed transfer system, which was supported by key players in the agricultural industry, with first market launches expected from 2021/22.