According to UN estimation the world population in November 2016 has reached about 7,5 Billion people, with a clear tendency to grow further. The estimated average annual growth of the world population (based on the assumption of declining average rate of fertility) fluctuates around 83 million people. Around 98 Million are expected to migrate yearly to the Western counties from the other parts of the world. By the year 2050 UN expects the size of the Globe population to climb as high as almost 10 Billion people.
On the surface it sounds very optimistic for the world farming. Obviously the more people will populate our planet the more food they will require for their living. But growing demand for food does not mean at all high profits for all producers; there is no easy way to survive this competition.
The competition in the world agricultural sector becomes more and more severe annually both between the countries as well as in the internal markets. From the other side – farming faces lots of challenges from the pure production point of view and from their consumers. First, the soil becomes less and less fertile if the “traditional” technologies for crop protection have been applied. Second, consumers become more and more demandive – they want to eat locally grown natural food. How to solve these problems?
There is no better solution than to implement innovation in the production – it equally concerns both large scale agri food companies and the smallest ones. In this market nobody is too big to fail. Well, any innovation costs a lot, the implementation is risky – sometimes it paved the road to the bankruptcy of the farmers. Here even the biggest companies need a hand.
It is no secret that banks are usually reluctant to finance innovations in any sector; they cannot risk their clients’ money. But life, challenges and competition change everything. Some banks today finance R&D in agriculture, some finance implementation of innovations. We discussed the topic of innovation’s financing in agriculture with Mr. Arnold Kuijpers, Director of EU Affairs, Rabobank. Rabobank is a cooperative bank uniting Farmers’ Credit Unions with a network of its branches located internationally. Rabobank Netherlands is one of the biggest in the country bank operating for agriculture. This country has been a world leader in agricultural financing and sustainably -oriented banking.
The Bank strongly supports innovations in agriculture. How they do it? Why they consider the innovations in agriculture to be so important? How companies can get financing for their innovations? Where startups in agri food sector can obtain funding? In the video you may find Arnold Kuijpers, Director of EU Affairs, Rabobank answers to our question.