Bayer’s contributions to a sustainable Vietnam

April 30, 2019 | 13:00
Since its inception in 1994, German group Bayer has grown rapidly and contributed significantly to the growth of Vietnam, with two production sites in Dong Nai and Binh Duong provinces. This year, Bayer celebrates 25 years of development in the country, with its strong commitment to supporting the government’s aim of achieving sustainability and innovation. Thanh Van reports.
bayers contributions to a sustainable vietnam
Bayer cites a strong partnership with government, farmers, and the private sector in helping to improve sustainability

As the government looks to develop sustainable agriculture, German life sciences giant Bayer has launched many innovative solutions for Vietnamese farmers to secure harvests and increase productivity. One ­initiative the group has developed for the Vietnamese ­market is the Much More Rice programme. The programme combines timely applications of seed treatments, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides connected with farmer’s ­practices as integrated crop management methodologies that helps them reduce inputs and improve rice yield and quality, and ultimately ­profitability. As a result, the programme is being broadly recognised and adopted by farmers, and has become a testament to Bayer’s efforts to support national ­objectives to lift ­productivity.

The company not only provides technical solutions but also enables farmers to have capability and market links via many initiatives, such as the Public-Private Partnership Taskforce for a sustainable and high quality brand of Vietnam Rice, Better Life Farming Alliance to develop sustainable and scalable business models benefitting smallholder coffee farmers, and the Better Rice Initiative Asia for improvement of rice value chains.

Riding on the achievement, Bayer continues to research and develop further solutions for other produce and fruits in Vietnam such as pepper, coffee, pomelo, dragon fruit, tomatoes, and cabbages. Thanks to Bayer’s Much More Coffee/Black Pepper/Fruits solutions, Vietnamese farmers can increase productivity, save labour costs, and raise quality and profit compared to normal farming cultivation practices. With better yield crops and sustainability, Bayer has helped Vietnam realise a rapid transition from quantity to quality to accelerate agricultural export in order to drive GDP growth.

The solutions set a good example of how industry can contribute to sustainable agriculture in Vietnam. The model Bayer has created in the country is a strong partnership between the government, farmers, and the private sector.

Recently, Bayer has joined forces with the Western Highland Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute and partner Netafim to introduce an advanced solution called Drip Protection. It is the combination of Much More Coffee and Velum, the soon-to-be-launched nematicide from Bayer, developed for a drip irrigation system. With Drip Protection, water and crop protection products are distributed through fields via the drip irrigation system and delivered directly to the roots of the crop.

For farmers, the solution brings better profitability and cost reduction as well as helping with risk management. As for the industry, this innovation is setting a new standard for further application and advancement. On top of that, the solutions underscore Bayer’s commitments to develop hi-tech agriculture as well as facilitating the government to enter the Industry 4.0 era.

The innovation of Bayer also makes its important contribution to timely and effective tackling of the epidemic in agriculture in Vietnam. For example, Bayer’s corn hybrids containing Fall Army Worm (FAW) spodoptera frugiperda resistance technology are considered as a safe and effective tool to tackle FAW, which has invaded the country and caused damage in some northern and north-central provinces as well as the south central coast.

According to Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on its document issued on April 24, FAW is able to migrate far, causing serious damage mainly in corn and many other crops. Yield loss due to FAW can reach 30-60 per cent in corn. Therefore, timely and effective disease management, as well as the cultivation of corn hybrids containing FAW resistance technology is an urgent need for such massive epidemic attack.

Since 2014, this corn hybrid has been allowed by the government to be marketed in Vietnam. As reported by PG Economics from the UK, 125,000 farmers gained economic benefits by growing corn hybrids containing insect resistance and weed control, amounting to additional income per family farm of between $74 per hectare to $141 per ha.

As a result, Bayer is now a recognised trendsetter in the field of seeds and crop protection in Vietnam. These innovative crop solutions as well as seeds and traits have made enormous contributions to improving the lives of millions of Vietnamese farmers and make great contribution to Vietnam’s agricultural developments.

Beside agriculture, another focus area in Vietnam is the healthcare and pharmaceutical market. Vietnam’s growing and aging population, as well as an increase in cancer and chronic medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, have contributed to a growing demand for new and better medicines. Bayer, with its diverse portfolio of innovative medicines, will not only help Vietnam serve growing healthcare needs, but also increase Vietnamese patient access to these innovative medicines.

Lynette Moey, country head of the Pharmaceuticals Division of Bayer in Vietnam, said, “Innovative medicines help patients live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. With incidents of chronic diseases predicted to increase, and to improve the current standard of care, Vietnam needs to evaluate and prioritise the removal of barriers for the introduction of innovative therapies for patients.”

According to Moey, there is a need for governments to extend financial protection via social health insurance and publicly-supported healthcare to relieve patients from the cost burdens of treatments. Patients can also consider additional financing options through private health insurance.

Patient-assistance programmes supported by private companies, together with partners from local healthcare and NGOs, will also help close such gaps. In Vietnam, Bayer is among a few private companies sponsoring such a programme, managed by the Bright Future Fund, to provide Vietnamese patients suffering from hepatocellular carcinoma or advanced renal cell carcinoma with better access to first-line oral targeted therapy.

In addition, Bayer has also been active in hosting scientific information programmes to provide medical updates and knowledge sharing for healthcare providers in Vietnam. The company has tied up with various entities to enhance knowledge and awareness of key health issues and disease prevention in the country.

For example, Bayer partnered with the Ho Chi Minh City Stroke Association to enhance scientific knowledge of cardiovascular diseases in Vietnam. The symposia provided the most up-to-date insights on the use of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants in addressing unmet medical needs in thrombosis management.

Bayer has also empowered Vietnamese women with more awareness to make informed choices on contraception and their sexual health. On World Contraception Day last September, in partnership with the Government Office of Family Planning and the Vietnam Women Union, Bayer reported on the progress of the three-year joint collaboration programme Family Planning Education, aimed at improving women’s access to contraception information.

These efforts have helped Bayer gain trust of patients, the medical community, and other healthcare partners over the last 25 years in Vietnam. It is clear that the company’s dedication to the industry remains steadfast as Bayer sees Vietnam an important contributor to its pharmaceutical sales in the Asia Pacific region.

Last but not least, Bayer has contributed to many corporate social responsibility initiatives in Vietnam over the last quarter of a century. Efforts have been made through technical support in science and education, health and social needs, and agricultural development.

Moving forward, Bayer will continue to accompany the Vietnamese government in efforts to improve the lives of all Vietnamese people.

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