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Bayer Sees €100 Billion Opportunity in Cleaner-Farming Shift

(Bloomberg) —

Bayer AG is seeking to double the sales potential of its crop-science division by tapping opportunities to reduce carbon emissions from farming.

The chemicals firm sees more than €100 billion ($109 billion) in possible revenue by the end of the decade from segments adjacent to its core agricultural businesses. These include precision digital tools to reduce fertilizer waste, as well as using living organisms to control pests, it said in a statement Tuesday.

With the push into so-called regenerative agriculture, traditional chemical makers such as Bayer and Syngenta AG are seeking to capitalize on the early stages of sweeping changes aimed at mitigating farming’s impact on climate change and biodiversity loss.

“Regenerative agriculture is the future of this industry,” Rodrigo Santos, head of Bayer’s Crop Science unit, said at a conference in New York. Solutions that help farmers produce more with less resources while restoring soil health will drive the company’s growth, Santos added. “It’s not a buzzword for us.”

The new opportunities represent a doubling of accessible markets, Bayer said. The German company’s crop-science division, which has traditionally operated in areas such as seeds, genetically modified crops and pesticides, posted sales of €25.2 billion last year. 

Agriculture accounts for almost a quarter of global emissions, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The production of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers — a key element to the productivity boom of the 1960s and 1970s that became known as the Green Revolution — accounts for 3% of emissions alone, Bayer said.

(Updates with executive comment in fourth paragraph.)

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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