Monsanto says it will work to increase water-use efficiency in irrigation across its own global seed production operations by 25 percent by 2020. While overall water use will vary due to the weather, Monsanto estimates that these conservation efforts alone will result in saving between 30 billion and 80 billion gallons of water annually.
In what the agri-business giant says is an industry-first water-use efficiency commitment, the company’s pledge includes both Monsanto’s owned and leased operations as well as the contract farms that grow seeds for the company’s products. As part of the commitment, Monsanto plans to provide annual public updates on its progress toward the 25 percent goal in its sustainability updates and reports.
To reach the goal, Monsanto will expand implementation of drip irrigation systems, which enable water-use efficiency of up to 95 percent, compared with other systems that range from 50 to 65 percent efficiency. The company already has deployed these systems at facilities in water-stressed areas like India, Hawaii and Mexico.
Monsanto has also pledged that the company will advance smarter seeds and precision management tools that enable farmers to use nutrients more efficiently and curb greenhouse gas emissions on 1 million acres in the US by 2020.
The company made this soil and nutrients pledge earlier this week at Walmart’s Sustainable Products Expo.