Recognising the 'vital role of agriculture in mitigating climate change and enhancing resilience’: Bayer and Silal join forces to strengthen the UAE's agricultural innovation landscape

By Oliver Morrison

- Last updated on GMT

Hugo Hagen, Senior Bayer Representative – Middle East at Bayer, and Silal CEO Salmeen Al Ameri announce the deal
Hugo Hagen, Senior Bayer Representative – Middle East at Bayer, and Silal CEO Salmeen Al Ameri announce the deal

Related tags Bayer Climate tech

Agriculture giant Bayer and leading UAE agri-food tech company Silal have joined forces in a ‘pioneering’ collaboration which aims to strengthen the agricultural landscape in the UAE and address climate change as a pivotal concern.

The partnership, announced at the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in Dubai, represents a significant milestone in the journey towards advancing best-in-class agricultural practices, the company’s said, especially under the challenging climatic conditions of the UAE which are only expected to intensify due to the ongoing threat of climate change.

Bayer and Silal will work together to enhance the capabilities of local agronomists, nurturing an environment conducive to agricultural innovation and excellence. This will be achieved in part by leveraging Bayer’s BayG.A.P. capacity building programme, which aims to support farmers worldwide to get certified and connected to the food value chain.

Through this programme, farmers can gain access to modules on essential topics such as Integrated Pest Management; Safe Use; Crop; Protection Products; Application Technology; and Irrigation.

The alliance further aims to enhance the agronomic skills of crop protection, crop nutrition, seed, soil and water management, which is “a significant step towards sustainable agriculture”,​ they announced.​

The two-step process includes first training the agricultural engineers and farm managers and then through them extending these efforts to 300+ UAE growers (part of Silal’s network).

Silal CEO Salmeen Al Ameri said: “This collaboration holds immense promise for the future of agriculture in the UAE. By leveraging Bayer’s global expertise and our local knowledge, we aim to develop innovative solutions that will bolster the sustainability of our agricultural practices, against the climate change challenges.”

Seed vitality is ‘a growing concern’ for the UAE agricultural sector

Another key focus area as per the agreement includes the undertaking of comprehensive vegetable seed trials. Trials will test over 30 vegetable seeds varieties and aim to investigate how these varieties perform under challenging desert farming conditions, assessing their increased crop endurance, quality, and shelf-life characteristics.

The desired outcome of the agreement is a positive impact on the environment, the economy, and the lives of farmers and consumers in the UAE.

The UAE is home to some of the harshest climatic conditions and the impact on agriculture including seed vitality is a growing concern for the country’s agricultural sector, the company’s explained. This concern transcends geographical boundaries and is applicable to several regions reeling under the impact of climate change, they added, therefore making it ‘extremely important to understand and test’ an array of seed varieties and their endurance under various climate conditions.

Hugo Hagen, Senior Bayer Representative – Middle East at Bayer, said: “We are excited to embark on this journey with Silal, a partner that shares our vision for a world where hunger is eradicated, and health prevails. Together, we will harness the power of innovation to support transforming agriculture in the UAE and contribute to the country’s National Food Security Strategy 2051, all while addressing the urgent global challenge of climate change.”

Mr. Sami Joost, Global Communications Director International Relations & License to Operate – Crop Science and Open Innovation Lead – United Arab Emirates at Bayer, added: “At Bayer, we have leading research and development capabilities in plant breeding, biotechnology, chemistry, and data science, allowing us to deliver tailored solutions to farmers faster than ever before. Collaboration with external partners and complementing our in-house expertise with the know-how of excellent partners such as Silal is an integral part of driving innovation impact at Bayer.”

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