One farmer will be able to feed 200 people in 2020 and 250 people 40 years later. This is one of the main reasons why AGCO invests around 300 million euros in research and development every year– in accordance with its vision: high-tech solutions for professional farmers feeding the world.
Martin Richenhagen started his talk by outlining the main facts: “The world’s population will rise from its current level of around seven billion people to an estimated nine billion by 2050. No schedule, no budget is ever adhered to as precisely as population growth. And one billion people in the world are already suffering from hunger.” However, he was convinced that these problems could be solved: “A growing world population and changes in eating habits demand a significant increase in food production. This essential increase in productivity can only be achieved using the latest techniques and technologies.” He was optimistic that no other sector has increased its productivity as massively as agriculture.
AGCO has for several years operated a factory in Algeria which produces agricultural machinery that is adapted to African requirements. And since 2015 it has also had a model farm in Zambia, known as the AGCO Future Farm, where it teaches a full range of agricultural know-how to local people, with the aim of improving the food situation in Africa.
During the very lively discussion which followed, chaired by Gerd Neidlinger, president of the Biberach district branch of the Verein landwirtschaftlicher Fachbildung (Agricultural Education Association), Martin Richenhagen gave guests an opportunity to ask questions on topics including but not restricted to the world's population.
One of the farmers present, for example, was concerned about the annual demonstrations during the International Green Week in Berlin, which in particular pillories conventional agriculture. Richenhagen explained his view of things as follows: “We have to take these people seriously and explain what we do more clearly. We must ensure that these discussions are more objective and re-establish normal access to modern agriculture.” Other topics such as the World Agriculture Report, reducing ground pressure and the current political situation in Germany made for a fascinating discussion right to the end.
A lecture event of this type, mainly targeted at interested farmers, was held at the Kreissparkasse in Biberach for the first time this year. It was organised by the Kreissparkasse, the Biberach district branch of the Verein landwirtschaftlicher Fachbildung and the local BayWa operation.