Ag & Green Economy


The third Earth Summit, also known as Rio+20, takes place in Rio de Janerio from June 20-22, 2012. It marks 20 years since the first Rio summit in 1992 introduced and established the idea of sustainable development. At RIO+20, world leaders, governments, NGOs and the private sector will come together to shape how our planet can reduce poverty while protecting the environment in the coming decades. They will focus on seven key areas to achieve this -- jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans, and disaster readiness. Of these seven, food security and agriculture will play a critical and prominent role throughout negotiations.

With our population expected to reach nine billion by 2050, farmers will need to increase food production by 70% despite climate change, harsher growing conditions, and finite natural resources. As the delegate at Rio+20 reflect on the future green economy, agriculture will be a central part of the discussion. Environmental pressures such as climate change pose a real threat to farmers' ability to provide for themselves and their families, and the activities at RIO+20 will offer the opportunity to adopt clear and focused measures to meet this challenge. Improving the way farmers operate will be critical to sustainability increasing food production and alleviating poverty for the world’s 2.5 billion farmers.

We believe the first step will be recognizing the environmentally friendly practices already being used in agriculture, and determining how these sustainable practices could be shared with more farmers. Today, farms around the world utilize crop protection products and plant biotechnology to increase crop yields, improve incomes and reduce their environmental footprint. For example:

  • In Brazil, farmers who use biotech soybeans, cotton and corn varieties have reduced their water usage by 16.2 billion litres from 1996 to 2010.
  • Farmers in Kenya who use pesticides to produce disease-free passionfruit improve their income by 400%.
  • Bt cotton farmers in India earn between $378-$520 more per hectare than growers using conventional cotton varieties, which has led to $9.4 billion in farm income gains due to Bt cotton adoption from 2002-2010.
  • In Canada, adoption of no-till practices in canola, enabled by crop protection products and plant biotechnology, sequesters nearly one million tonnes of carbon each year.
  • Each year, crop protection product prevent nearly 50% yield loss in wheat crops around the globe.

In every region of the globe, farmers are using plant science to enhance their sustainability and protect their lands for future generations. Governments, NGOs and the private sector must examine how the outcomes of RIO+20 can enable policies that encourage farmers to use the practices today and enhance them in the future.

To learn more about how plant science products can help agriculture become part of a green economy at RIO+20, please attend CropLife International events throughout the RIO+20 negotiations (see the sidebar for more information) or explore the resources below:

  1. Infographics

  2. Case Studies

  3. Videos

  4. Documents



Feeding Nine Billion:
The Issues Facing Global Agriculture (all infographics)

Feeding Nine Billion brochure

Improving Lives:
Sustainable livelihoods and stronger communities

Improving Lives Infographic

Fighting Poor Nutrition:
Creaitng healthier diets through new varieties and abundant food choices 

Fighting Poor Nutrition Infographic

Conserving Water:
Reducing water needs through plant science technologies

Conserving Water Infographic

Feeding Nine Billion:
Improving yield through new varieties and protection from pest

Feeding Nine Billion Infographic

Preserving Soil:
Reducing soil erosion by enabling conservation agriculture

Preserving Soil Infographic

Protecting Biodiversity:
Safeguarding biodiversity by reducing the need for additional land

Protecting Biodiversity Infographic

Responding to Climate Change:
Managing our changing climate through innovative technologies

Responding to CLimate Change Infographic
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Case Studies:


Sharing the story:

How is plant science impacting agriculture around the globe? Hear farmers from around the world sharing their stories of how advances in plant biotechnology and crop proteciton products have made them more profitable and improved their livelihoods, while enabling the adoption of sustainable agriculture practices:

Learn more about these farmers at the Sharing the Story page



Global Stewardship Case Studies:

Stewardship is a life cycle approach to product management. It is the ethical way to manage crop protection products from their discovery and development, to their use and final disposal or phase-out. The overall aim of the stewardship approach is to maximise the benefits, and minimise any risk, from using crop protection products.

Stewardship Life Cycle

Learn about how the plant science industry is working around the globe to ensure proper stewardship practices through our Global Stewardship Case Studies

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How can research and development in plant science
help us achieve a green economy?


The story of Agriculture
and the Green Economy


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The Benefits of Public Private Partnerships:
Benefits of PPPs Brochure

Global Status of Commercialized Biotech Crops 2011:


Getting a Biotech Crop to Market:
How much, how long and what steps?

getting biotech crop to market fact sheet

The Cost of Bringing a New Agrochemical to Market

Phillips Mcdougall CP


Plant Biotechnology Stewardship Brochure:

Plant Biotechnology Stewardship Brochure


Principles of Regulation:

Principles of Regulation


A Stocktaking Report: :
Crop Protection Stewardship Activities of the Plant Science Industry

A Stocktaking Report: Crop Protection Stewardship Activities of the Plant Science Industry
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Join us at RIO+20 for CropLife International's and affiliate's side events

"Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development"

Hosted by Farming First
18:00, 12 June 2012
Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro

"Scaling up Innovation and Uptake of Best Practices for Sustainable Agriculture"

Hosted by Farming First
13:30-15:00, 14 June 2012
RioCentro Convention Center Room T-9

"Best Practices and Technology Opportunities for Farmers in Latin America"

Hosted by SustainAGRO
11:30 - 13:00 15 June 2012
RioCentro Convention Center

"Achieving and Measuring Sustainable Intensification: the roel of technology, best practices and partnerships"

Hosted by Agriculture and Rural Development Day & Farming First
18 June 2012
Sul America Convention Center

"Leading for Sustainability in Agriculture: What Role for Business?"

Hosted by CropLife International & Business Action for Sustainable Development
10:00-12:00, 19 June 2012
Windsor Barra Hotel