Bayer CropScience Limited, a key supplier of high-quality crop protection products, has completed 18 years of successful operations in Bangladesh.
The company celebrated the milestone through a series of virtual events that included congratulatory video messages for its employees from high-ranking government officials, key industry stakeholders and its leadership team in South Asia, said a press release issued on Saturday.
They also distributed safety masks to farmers countrywide on the occasion.
Bayer CropScience Limited Bangladesh is a joint venture between Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) and Bayer AG, a leading life science company with core competencies in agriculture and health care and a history of more than 150 years.
Headquartered in Dhaka, Bayer has around 110 employees committed to uplifting agriculture and food production in the country. Of them, 70 have specialised educational background in agriculture and have been instrumental in enhancing farmer interaction and customer service for Bayer's seeds and crop protection products.
"Over the last two decades, Bayer has been working closely with farmers and key stakeholders to improve the agricultural productivity and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Bangladesh. Bayer is not just a key supplier of high-quality crop protection products, but also a pioneer in hybrid rice with a market share of 18% in hybrid rice seeds," said Zahidul Islam, managing director of Bayer CropScience Limited Bangladesh.
"We are very grateful to all our government stakeholders, industry partners, development agencies, trade partners, and customer farmers for their continuous support in helping us advance agriculture in Bangladesh."
Bayer is the only company which has launched Bacterial Leaf Blight (BLB) resistant variety and submergence tolerant variety of rice in Bangladesh, which is a major concern in the wet season. The company also has a strong rice seed pipeline featuring saline tolerance which will be launched soon in the country. Apart from rice, corn and vegetables are the two other major crops in the country.
In June this year, Bayer supported 100,000 smallholder farmers across 51 districts and 200 upazilas with 300 tonnes of high-yielding and stress-tolerant hybrid rice seeds. The aim was to support smallholder farmers to tide through the additional challenges due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
This was part of Bayer's global "Better Farms, Better Lives" initiative to support two million smallholder farmers in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In addition, Bayer is handholding these smallholder farmers from sowing to harvest with advisory on crop, disease and pest management, capacity building, and training on the use of modern agricultural technologies.
Bayer also runs Crop Clinics – a unique farm advisory service to update Bangladeshi farmers on the latest products in crop protection and seeds, information on produce prices, information on crop nutrition management, and other relevant information to improve agricultural productivity.
Bayer is working with various global development agencies in the country such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), GIZ, Catalyst, etc.
It has also participated in various projects like "Affordable Nutrition for Women", "Agri Input Project", "RDC", "AIRN", etc. to increase knowledge and awareness of the farming community and agri-retailers on the safe and responsible use of pesticides, ethical business practices, training on crop-pest knowledge, etc.