A new age of rice farming

 Krysta Harden   |  

I believe that agri-industry leaders play an enormous role in shaping a more productive, economically and ecologically sound food system for the entire world.

Photo: Corteva Agriscience™

We need to help farmers and the agriculture industry find solutions to these issues if we are to keep supplying Asia’s 4.5 billion–and growing–population with their staple food in years to come.

The first step is for us to see things from the point of view of rice farmers.

Rice farmers need to be empowered with the right knowledge, tools, and technology that can help build the next generation of farmers who are more efficient and sustainable, and who can help meet the growing and evolving demands for rice across the world. This must be accomplished, while also respecting the centuries-old social, cultural, and environmental sustainability of landscapes where rice is grown in Asia.

Corteva Agriscience: Growing progress for Asia’s next generation of rice farmers
It’s only fitting that we will introduce our new company Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture division of DowDuPont, in Asia this October at the 2018 International Rice Congress (IRC2018). The fact that we have chosen this venue is by design—rice is a priority crop for our business.

Our new vision for Corteva Agriscience is to leverage our global presence, depth of knowledge, and relentless focus on innovation to help farmers flourish and ensure consumers can access safe nutritious food while minimizing the impact on natural resources and spurring local economies.

We are doing this through the combined innovation engines of DuPont Crop Protection, DuPont Pioneer, and Dow AgroSciences, which represent decades of excellence in breeding techniques, hybrid development, crop protection, and seed-applied solutions.

I believe that agri-industry leaders play an enormous role in shaping a more productive, economically, and ecologically sound food system for the entire world.

Food is the engine of life and the prerequisite to progress. This is why our aim at Corteva Agriscience is to revitalize the agriculture system for the benefit of our children, their children, and for the future of our planet.

We need to adopt a forward-thinking approach to not only address issues that farmers are facing today but preempt challenges that they might have to overcome in the future.

Our team at Corteva Agriscience is developing new technologies which can help farmers produce more and better rice, protect their farms and prepare themselves for future generations of consumers.

Digital technologies, for example, can provide farmers with new tools to improve productivity. We are looking at how drones, mobile applications, and the use of data exchange platforms can revolutionize our industry. This will allow us to put the more knowledge and insight into the hands of farmers.

Our new path aims to help feed the world, but importantly it places farmers and those they grow for—consumers—at the heart of this evolution. To accomplish our vision, we must work across the entire food value chain.

This journey will require the collective knowledge and efforts of all of us—farmers, researchers, students of agriculture, food manufacturers, distributors, retailers, governments and policymakers, and, of course, consumers. Our industry is also vital to driving progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger which targets doubling agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale producers and ensuring sustainable food production system and impact-resilient practices by 2030.

Corteva Agriscience recognizes that as an industry leader we bear a responsibility for safe, effective and sustainable agriculture supply chains. We take this responsibility very seriously and we believe the IRC2018 provides an opportunity for us to convene and engage all players to elevate the conversation in the industry.

We are thrilled to be sponsoring IRC2018 and I am looking forward to connecting with our peers to foster a robust discussion. Together, we can help rice farmers realize their full potential and propel the agriculture ecosystem forward.

Ms. Harden is the senior vice president for external affairs and chief sustainability officer at  Corteva Agriscience™, the agriculture division of DowDuPont.  She is also a keynote speaker at IRC2018.

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