Climate change is at work all over the world. Extreme weather phenomena are multiplying, sparing no continent. Droughts and water shortages are putting farmers in the front line, an observation unanimously echoed by the speakers invited to speak at the International Climate Risk Prevention Day on September 19. The event was organized by agritech Elicit Plant at its experimental farm in France.
Water scarcity, drought : inventing tomorrow’s solutions together
In France, but also in North America, Brazil and the southern hemisphere, the overwhelming majority of field crop producers claim to be directly affected by water shortages. In the face of climate change, the farming world is joining forces to tackle the problem and come up with new avenues for research and development.
“Water stress episodes are becoming increasingly frequent. We’re seeing it in the USA, Europe, Asia, Latin America…” said Dr Mark Trimmer, CEO of Dunham & Trimmer market research. Lack of water is causing significant damage everywhere, in terms of lost production. And the problem is that in field crops, there are still very few tools available to deal with it! This impacts on yields and farm profitability. Glaciologist Heïdi Sevestre confirms this observation: “The agricultural world is literally on the front line of climate change.
Field crops too often neglected in the fight against water stress
Aymeric Molin, co-founder of start-up Elicit Plant, known for its innovative phytosterol-based solutions, added to these remarks. “There’s a close link between water availability and agricultural productivity. Yet 50% of the world’s calorie production is based on just four crops: cereals, rice, maize and soya, which are often neglected in the fight against drought. If appropriate solutions are not found, our food security will be threatened. Aymeric Molin, himself a farmer, reiterated the company’s ambition to accelerate the speed of adaptation in the agricultural world, to enable rapid change.
A day of collective action in the face of climate change
Gathered for this special day initiated by Elicit Plant, participants took stock of the solutions to be envisaged for a more resilient agriculture: Mickael Horsch, founder of Horsch, talked about advances in agricultural machinery; Stéphane Marcel, Director of Digital Transformation for the InVivo Group, talked about the innovations at work every day in the field of data; Christophe Richardot, Managing Director of Alliance BFC – DG Dijon-Céréales, talked about the ways in which farmers can adapt. Ralph Beckers, Elicit Plant’s Strategic Director, recalled the development potential of the EliTerra® platform, and announced the forthcoming launch of a new phytosterol-based solution dedicated to sunflowers, EliSun-a, and straw cereals, EliGrain-a, as well as the roll-out of BEST-a throughout the European Union.
Aymeric Molin concludes: “Man has always tried to find solutions to ensure that his crops don’t run out of water: through irrigation, tillage and, later, scientific progress. With water resources likely to become increasingly scarce, these efforts will have to be stepped up. BEST-a is part of the range of solutions, and it’s an effective one. But we need to work collectively to ensure that the stack of available resources enables farmers to face change with serenity”. Pam Marrone, entrepreneur and innovation advisor for organic products, agrees and points out that, given the urgency of the climate, innovation will be an integral part of the solutions.
Further information: Find out all about the day-long conference on
“the impact of water shortages and solutions for agriculture”.