Global Farmers Grapple with Climate Change & Economic Pressures

Global Farmers Grapple with Climate Change & Economic Pressures. AgTech; Agriculture; AgriTech; Farming; FarmTech

Key Takeaways

  1. 71% of farmers report that climate change has significantly impacted their farms, with income losses averaging 15.7% over the past two years.
  2. Economic challenges, particularly the cost of fertilizers, concern farmers, especially in countries like Ukraine.
  3. More than 80% of farmers are taking steps to mitigate climate change, focusing on cover crops, renewable energy, and innovative seeds.
  4. Smallholder farmers in India prioritize financial security through insurance and infrastructure while also being impacted by climate change.
  5. The “Farmer Voice” survey indicates a global consensus among farmers on the challenges of climate change and economic pressures.

A new survey titled “Farmer Voice,” commissioned by life science company Bayer, reveals that farmers worldwide are increasingly concerned about the impact of climate change on their livelihoods. The survey interviewed 800 farmers from eight countries and found that 71% believe climate change has significantly impacted their farms.

Climate Change’s Toll on Agriculture

According to the survey, 73% of farmers have experienced increased pest and disease pressure due to climate change. On average, farmers estimate that their incomes have reduced by 15.7% in the past two years due to climate-related issues. One in six farmers reported income losses of over 25% during this period. Rodrigo Santos, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG, emphasized that these losses directly threaten global food security.

Economic Challenges

While climate change remains a dominant concern, economic challenges are also pressing. Over half (55%) of the farmers surveyed cited fertilizer costs as one of their top three challenges. In Ukraine, 70% of farmers named fertilizer costs a significant concern, compounded by the disruptions due to ongoing conflict.

Mitigating Climate Change

More than 80% of farmers are already taking or planning to take steps to mitigate the effects of climate change. The focus areas include using cover crops (43%), renewable energy or biofuels (37%), and innovative seeds to reduce fertilizer or crop protection use (33%).

Spotlight on Indian Smallholder Farmers

Bayer also interviewed 2,056 Indian smallholder farmers, revealing that their biggest challenges are high labor and fertilizer costs. Despite these challenges, 8 in 10 Indian smallholder farmers feel positive about the future of farming. They see access to digital technologies and modern crop protection as beneficial for their operations.

Global Consensus

The survey shows a global consensus among farmers about the challenges they face. Rodrigo Santos noted that despite these challenges, almost three-quarters of farmers feel positive about the future of farming in their country. He called for innovation, collaboration, and swift action to address these pressing issues.

Photo by Warren on Unsplash 

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