More than 70% of farmers have already seen large impacts of climate change on their farm, new global research across eight countries reveals. Climate impacts estimated to have reduced farmer incomes by 15.7% on average over the past two years.
Most pressing short-term challenges dominated by economic uncertainty and cost concerns. Yet four in five farmers have already taken or plan to take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
71% of farmers say that climate change already has a large impact on their farm, and even more are worried about the impact this will have in the future. 73% have experienced increasing pest and disease pressure. On average farmers estimate that their incomes had reduced by 15.7% due to climate change in the past two years. One in six farmers even identifies income losses of over 25% during this period.
These are some of the key findings from the "Farmer Voice" survey, just published, which reveals the challenges facing farmers around the world as they try to mitigate the impacts of climate change and adapt for the future. Bayer commissioned an agency to independently interview 800 farmers globally, representing farms large and small from Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Kenya, Ukraine, and the United States in equal numbers.
Farmers expect the repercussions of climate change to continue. Three-quarters of them globally (76%) are worried about the impact that climate change will have on their farm, with farmers in Kenya and India most concerned.
Rodrigo Santos, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and President of the Crop Science Division, commented: "Farmers are already experiencing the adverse effects of climate change on their fields and at the same time they play a key role in tackling this huge challenge. This is why it is so important to put their voice front and center. The losses reported in this survey make the direct threat climate change poses to global food security crystal clear. In the face of a growing world population, the results must be a catalyst for efforts to make agriculture regenerative."
Economic challenges are compounding farmer pressures
While climate change is a dominant overarching theme, economic challenges are the biggest priority over the next three years. Over half (55%) of farmers placed fertilizer costs among the top three challenges, followed by energy costs (47%), price and income volatility (37%), and the cost of crop protection (36%). The importance of fertilizer costs becomes most apparent in Kenya, India, and Ukraine.
Spotlight: Indian smallholder farmers are focused on mitigating risk
In addition Bayer interviewed 2,056 Indian smallholder farmers from its customer base. It is a unique glimpse into the perspectives of smallholders who are key to securing the world's food supply.
The Farmer Voice report is available at: www.bayer.com/en/agriculture/farmer-voice