Reshaping the Future of Agriculture
Bayer Foundation’s vision is to catalyze science impact and social innovation for a world with Health for All and Hunger for None. We are building long-term resilience for smallholder farmers, supporting leading-edge research, providing scientific study fellowships, as well as by levering the power of social innovation and entrepreneurialism to enable communities around us to thrive.
Over 2,00,000 smallholder farmers trained for ag tech best practices
Farming is a labour intensive activity which heavily depends on various external factors. The lockdown due to the pandemic has also caused unforeseen problems for the Indian smallholder farmers. During this critical time, Bayer Foundation India (formerly known as Bayer Prayas Association) together with nearly 50 NGO’s and a massive field force collaborated to train over 2,00,000 smallholder famers across18 states in India, during the entire crop cycle, on various topics to help improve yield and minimize loss due to pest attack.
The smallholder farmers were provided in-depth training on crop agronomy practices advisory, stewardship, safety and general health tips and awareness on vector control. They were also trained on use of safety equipment, safe & judicious use of crop protection products, disposal of pesticides and safe practices to be adopted for Covid 19.
The training placed special focus on educating and empowering women smallholder farmers and migrant labourers who have returned to their villages and have taken up farming in their small family farms.
Bayer RVJ School of Agriculture
India is an agricultural-oriented country where two third of the population is dependent on it. Our youth are the backbone of the nation and agriculture needs the involvement of the new generation, as they have the aptitude to understand new innovations and practices related to agriculture.
Bayer RVJ School of Agriculture was established in 2007 as a part of Bayer Crop Science’s overarching umbrella ‘Learning for Life’ strategy to foster (science) education globally as part of its Corporate Societal Engagement (CSE) program. The institution boosts and nurtures science education and provides vocational training to underprivileged rural youth to prepare them for entry level jobs in agriculture.
Located at Tuniki village, 60 kms from the city of Hyderabad, this school conducts two 6-month Farm Assistantship courses every year with an average class size of about 30 students each time. The course is offered free of charge to underprivileged students. The batch is also assisted with placement opportunities on completion of the term.
The curriculum has been developed in consultation with Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad and covers topics such as an introduction to agriculture including basics in seed production techniques and principles of integrated crop protection. Plant diseases and their appearance on the fields are also tackled. A knowledge base in business administration including agricultural marketing and communication form an integral part of the syllabus. In addition, special guest lecturers are also invited to speak on selected topics.
Bayer has also supported the set-up of additional lab facilities for farm technology, plant protection and extension, soil and water management, seed technology and soil science at the institution.
More than 700 students have graduated from the school since its inception with nearly 35% of them now working in various agro companies
Supporting young scientists with Fellowships
To encourage research and development activities in agriculture, Bayer as part of its Corporate Societal Engagement (CSE) initiatives, is supporting students pursuing their master’s in science and PhD with Fellowships in leading AgroScience Universities.
We have partnered with colleges in Gujarat, Karnataka, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand and West Bengal to provide tailored financial support. Based on merit, the students are selected by the university and are provided with support for 3 years for PhD courses and 2 years for master’s in science courses.
One of the recipients of the Bayer Fellowship award, Chetana Dodiya, who hails from Jasadhar (Gir) and belongs to a farming family, says, “I would like to play a small role in bringing the benefits of science to the betterment of farmers. This is my ultimate career goal. I am grateful to Bayer for giving me the Fellowship which has helped me financially and has also boosted my confidence”.
The fellowship program commenced in 2015 with 49 fellowships and till date 411 deserving students have been awarded.