What does agriculture mean today?
And how a few mega companies will characterize the

agriculture of tomorrow.

 

Growing mega companies

"Monsanto, the worldwide largest producer of genetically modified seed agreed to be

purchased by the Bayer AG. The agreement of Monsanto has formed

the largest seed and pesticide company in the world." (ECOWatch, Sep. 14, 2016 )


The new company produce...


25% of the worldwide seed protected by plant-variety rights,

90% of the worldwide genetically modified seed and

27% of the worldwide pesticides.


This is one example for the rapidly consolidating agricultural industry of the last

years. It's very likely, that this development will be continued and only four big

companies will control the agricultural industry in future.

,

What does that mean for the agriculture in future?

The consolidation in the agricultural industry will probably reduce the variety

of conventional and genetically modified seed sorts and the corresponding pesticides

at the global market. So more and more farmers depend on a few seed sorts and

pesticides of big companies like Bayer and Monsanto.


As a result of this development three phenomenons will characterize the global agriculture

of tomorrow:


  • industrial farming in order with single-crop farming and genetically modified seed will more and more replace traditional farming especially in poor countries
  • the growing spread of organic farming in industry countries especially in Europe
  • Digital Farming

Single-crop farming

  • to grow the same crop on the same farmland over several years
  • at the beginning of the 20 century the invention of the nitrogen fertilizer made it possible
  • single-crop farming have became the standard in the USA and Europe
  • today the most farmers in the USA and Europe depends on industrial seeds, fertilizers and pesticides
  • the agricultural industry is looking for new markets especially in poor countries
  • there are a lot of small farmers even practice traditional agriculture
  • about scf the farmers are able to earn more money for a better live standard
  • the first farmers will follow the scf-model and other farmers have to follow
  • the agricultural industry sense a big business with the selling of modern seeds, fertilizers and pesticides
  • examples of this development are India and Africa
  • in India small farmers could improve their live standard with the cultivation of single-crop cotton 
  • in Africa single-crop maize is popular
  • 60% of the worlwide cultivation areas are still used by traditional agriculture
  • so it's very likely, that scf will spread further



 farthe

Single-crop farming

advantages:

  • scf gives small farmers the chance to reach a better live standard
  • higher yields than in the traditional agriculture
  • modern fertilizers and pesticides decrease the number of crop losses
  • are a efficient way to feed the population in poor countries
  • better crop quality
disadvantages:
  • famers depend on prices of the agricultural industry for seed, fertilizer and pesticides
  • this means a high financial risk for small farmers
  • only big cultivation areas with high yields will survive
  • the heavy use of pesticides and modern fertilizer caused a higher enivironmental pollution

Genetically modified seed

  • genetically modified seed is an invention of Monsanto
  • in the early nineties the company placed it on the US market
  • today Monsanto produce unbelievable 90% of the worldwide gms
  • the seed enable a faster and lusher growth than conventional seed
  • in most cases a better resistance against droughts and pest infestations
  • the higher yields convinced mostly all farmers in the USA to use gms 
  • about its particular properties Monsanto was able to spread gms around the whole world
  • above all Brazil and Argentina use gms for cotton, soybean and corn,
  • India for cotton and Canada for canola, corn, soybean and sugarbeet
  • the consolidation of Monsanto and Bayer provided Monsanto new markets
  • for example in Indonesia, Cambodia and other parts of the European Union
  • the governments of countries in Central Africa are until know against gms 
  • but the "Monsanto lobby" has been trying for years to convince the governments


 th

Genetically modified seed

advantages:

  • even higher yields enable the farmers to earn more money
  • a simple but efficient method to feed the massive growing worldpopulation
disadvantages:
  • the health risks for humans and animals aren´t well researched
  • so the health risks are hard to estimate
  • massive rising prices for gms and the corresponding fertilizer and pesticides
  • gm plants need a much bigger plenty of herbicides against weeds than conventional plants

  • the herbicide "Roundup" from Monsanto is under suspicion to be cancer-causing

  • next to the weeds it kills many other plants where it is used

  • gm plants grow wild in the nature and eliminate other plants

    • gms threatened the diversity of flora and fauna

Organic farming

  • independence from industrial seeds, fertilizers and pesticides and a lower environmental pollution
  • this are the main reasons why more and more farmers and costumers prefer organic f
  • for example in Austria the part of organic farming is 19,5 %,
  • in Liechtenstein there are even 31%.
  • In Germany the part of organic farming is 6,3%
  • farmers use organic seed and are legally obligated to avoid chemical pesticides, fertilizer and genetic engineering
  • the lower share of organic farming in the agriculture and a costlier cultivation cause the higher price for organic food
  • a research project of the University Pforzheim shows, that in Germany organic food is in the middle 70 more expensive than conventional food. For the research project 241 different products were compared with each other



Organic farming

advantages:

  • independence from industrial seeds, fertilizers and pesticides
  • low environmental pollution
  • the conservation of the variety for seeds


disandvantages:

  • food from of have a higher price than food from conventional agriculture
  • the costly cultivation makes it difficult to feed a bigger part of the worldpopulation

Digital Farming

  • Digital Farming is a name of Bayer and BASF 
  • DF means industrial farming with the help of digital data
  • for example Bayer developed an Image recognition app for weed 
  • 20 different weed sorts could be analyzed by the first leafs of the plant
  • so the weed can removed very early what saves time, money for pesticides and the environment
  • further Bayer is developing so called hyper-localized decision support tools
  • the final system collects all relevant information about plant genetics, weather and management practices and translates them into personalized recommendations for each field
  • so for example the farmers should know:
  • which crop is most suitable for which field
  • how much fertilizer need certain areas of a field
  • the best time for plant-health measures

  • among other things for this the system takes satellite images, machine data and weather analyzes



 Zon



advantages:

  • less use of fertilizer and water protect the environment
  • better protection against plant diseases and pest infestation
  • larger yields about optimal conditions for the crop



disadvantages:

  • customer data could be misused
  • business transactions with customer data
  • customer data could be hacked

Result

Industrial farming will become more and more a worldwide standard. Because

especially in poor countries traditional farming will simply become too expensive,

if some farmers start to cultivate single-crop farming.

In poor regions those farmers will survive, which can offer a low price for their crop

and, at the same time, to be able to earn enough money.

The aim to reach the largest possibile harvest yields, will replace the traditional agriculture.

On the one hand the life standard of some farmers will significantly increase.

On the other hand Industrial farming will stronger pollute the environment than traditional farming.

For the growing worldpopulation, new cultivation methods might be necessary. Industrial farming

is a possibile way to do this. The question is, how we use the available cultivation areas for feeding the population in a effective way and to protect the environment at the same time? I believe this question arises only in Europe. In the most Africa countries and most other poor countries the decision has been made. The people there have no money for environmentally friendly farming like organic farming it is.

They are satisfied, if they have enough to eat. The question how the food was produced isn't

very important. For the  most governments in Africa it is easier to feed their populations by buying

cheap cereals from Europe, than to cultivate cereals by oneself. 

cereals from Europe flood the African market.

In this regard organic farming is a luxury, which can only afford by the population of industrial

countries, where people are able to pay a much higher sum for food. On the other hand, if

Africa

One solution could it be to cultivate less genetically modified seed for the biggest possible yields.

But is that the best way for the environment too? Maybe

 



environmen


 

For this questions Bayer and Monsanto Digital Farming.


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Agriculture today

by alexda

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Public - 11/7/16, 2:41 PM