Contributed by BASF, Presenting Sponsor of the NC Chamber’s Ag Allies Conference on September 29, 2022.
The global importance of the agriculture industry and farming occupation can’t be overstated. At BASF, we go so far as to say that farming is the biggest job on earth because of the vital role it plays in sustaining our planet and population. And, that role is getting even bigger and more crucial every day. According to estimates compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organization, the world population is expected to hit 9.73 billion by 2050. That means that agricultural productivity will need to increase by 50% to keep up with the 3 billion more people expected to be our planet.
Locally, we can see the impacts of this global dynamic firsthand. In 2021, 17.5 percent of all North Carolina jobs – or three-quarters of a million jobs – were in agriculture. Those jobs contributed to a $92.7 billion economic impact. Simply put, agriculture is a cornerstone of our state’s economy. It’s exciting to see North Carolina have such a vital role in sustaining both our local community and our world by providing food, fuel and fiber for a growing population.
Still, we know that the job of agriculture and farming specifically is not an easy one. Change is constant, and the agriculture industry must increase its productivity levels while remaining dynamic – adapting to a shifting workforce, evolving technology, and the latest state and federal regulations. Farmers need our support to help them meet our global needs in a sustainable way.
BASF is a leader in agricultural solutions and strives to deliver pioneering research to further our industry. We believe that a variety of products, programs and solutions are needed to meet the everchanging challenges of agriculture. And we believe that the way we get there is to welcome a wide range of new thoughts and ideas through a diverse workforce. One of my personal goals is to create a dynamic team where everyone is comfortable contributing. I like to hear everyone problem-solving and ideating together. That’s the momentum that gives me the sense we are taking a step forward in diversifying thought leadership and moving the needle in a positive direction for agriculture in our state, and around the globe.
We must also keep sustainability at the forefront of the conversation. Earlier this year, we opened the BASF Center for Sustainable Agriculture. This center provides visitors with a unique experience focused on sustainable agriculture’s impact on the environment, people, and the planet. We hope you’ll visit the Center and see for yourself how we are promoting sustainability for our industry and future generations.
Because the truth is, at the end of the day, we’re all in this together, and we can all be part of continuing the agricultural success of North Carolina for years to come.
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