This article presents a speech from Huang Weidong, President of the Greater China Region, Bayer CropScience, during an interview with a Chinese media in the beginning of 2019. In the interview, Huang summarized the changes that have taken place in Chinese agriculture over the last five years, while forecasting the future trends for the next five years. This article is slightly abridged from the original speech by editorial staff.
President of the Greater China Region
Changes in Chinese agriculture over the last five years
Over the last five years, the structural reform on the supply side has required high quality and green agricultural development, which has been carried out with releases of a series of government policies including the Fertilizer & Pesticide Use Zero Growth Plan 2020 and the new Regulation on Pesticide Administration. These measures serve to guide a standardized and high quality administration of the agrochemical industry covering pesticide registration, production, marketing and all other related business aspects. The strength, depth and coverage of the changes have had a profound effect on the industry, having opened up a new page in the development of the Chinese agrochemical industry.
The changing market demand also triggered lots of new business models, such as digital agriculture, specialist agro-technical services such as Internet + brand farming, etc.
Agriculture is a fundamental industry of the Chinese national economy. Its main trend of development will be toward expeditions to meet the requirements of social and economic development, as well as how to take up challenges. Agriculture is bound to achieve self-sufficient staple food supply to meet the food security requirements, solve the labor shortage problem on account of an aging population, tackle the issue of a higher labor cost, fulfill consumers’ needs for safe and quality food of a higher standard, and facilitate eco-environmental restoration. Specifically, the trend of development will be centered on common objectives, namely to increase yield and quality, and to be safe and healthy, while being environment-friendly.
What will the Chinese agrochemical industry look like in five years?
With regard to the changes in the Chinese agrochemical industry in the next five years, I would sum it up in three keywords: centralization, integration and service. With the agrochemical industry regulation becoming more and more perfected, industry standards will be constantly updated to go higher.
Centralization. The status of a large number, small sized and decentralized distribution of pesticide manufacturers is going to change and industry centralization will increase to a certain degree, which can benefit a standardized and sound development on a long-term basis.
Integration. An integrated development will be the main trend in the next couple of years. Here, Bayer can be a good example. We have consolidated our globally advanced agrochemical, seed and digital technologies, which allow for the provision of all-round and customized service according to the needs of farmers. Integration also means better industry integration, which brings the industry chain and other relevant sectors closer.
Service. When large-scale production entities become China’s agricultural production’s main force, there is a more eager demand for specialist agrotechnical services and total solutions. Subsequently, agrochemical enterprises ought to effectively respond to this demand with the provision of direct service to agricultural production activities.
Bayer’s development program
I am confident that Bayer will emerge as number one among enterprises of the same kind, attributable to its distinctive advantages in agrochemical, seed and digital farming capacities. In the meantime, on a sustainable basis, Bayer duly performs its corresponding duty to contribute to solve the challenges facing food grain production, while assuming responsibility for environmental protection.
I hope that five years later, I can still concentrate on agriculture. I am prepared to lead our company to promote a more in-depth development of Chinese agriculture; I will guide our work team and nurture our staff. As such, we are able to create value for growers, and meanwhile, win a place for ourselves in this industry.