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      Press Release
      November 09, 2023

      Farmers Do Not Feel Sufficiently Prepared for the Transformation of Their Industry

      Continental Study “Agriculture in Transition”

      • Continental survey of farmers in five countries on four continents: only around 45 percent think their own business is well positioned for the necessary transformation
      • Majority of farmers show positive attitude towards environmentally friendly agriculture – German farmers are pioneers
      • Challenges facing farmers every day include price pressure, poor soil quality and insufficient quality of the machinery
      • Philip Nelles, member of the Executive Board and head of ContiTech: “The study shows that farmers are ready to play an active role in shaping the transformation of the industry. However, they still lack the resources to become more digital and sustainable.”
      • Continental will present its extensive portfolio for Agriculture 4.0 at Agritechnica in Hanover, Germany, from 12 to 18 November 2023

      Hanover, Germany, 9 November 2023. Farmers around the world do not feel adequately prepared for the upcoming transition to more efficient and sustainable ways of farming. This is one of the key findings of Continental’s “Agriculture in Transition” study. On behalf of Continental, the market research institute Innofact AG surveyed over 500 farmers in Brazil, Germany, France, Japan and the USA about the challenges they are currently facing and their expectations for the future development of their industry. Only around 45 percent of the farmers surveyed said that they already had the necessary technology on their farms for the upcoming transformation. In Germany, the figure is slightly higher at 49 percent. More than one in three farmers worldwide (around 37 percent; Germany: around 28 percent) are calling for greater use of digital solutions on their own farms. At the same time, the study also shows that farmers are taking their responsibility for the environment seriously. For example, nine out of ten farmers (around 87 percent; Germany: 91 percent) believe it is important that the machinery and equipment used on farms contribute to sustainability.

      “The agriculture industry is faced with the task of feeding the world's growing population. At the same time, it is undergoing a far-reaching transformation towards more digitalization and sustainability. It is also the task of technology companies like Continental to support farmers in this transformation and minimize their day-to-day challenges, so that they can fully focus on the transformation of their industry and the provision of their products”, explains Continental Executive Board member Philip Nelles.

      Everyday challenges slow down transformation

      According to a United Nations forecast, the world's population will reach around 8.5 billion people by 2030 – around half a billion more than in 2023. But food is already scarce in many places. This all poses a monumental challenge for the agriculture industry. At the same time, farmers around the world are struggling every day with a whole range of challenges too. In the Continental study, around 72 percent of the farmers surveyed said that price pressure, in particular, was a major issue. While the prices for their products continue to fall on the global markets, the cost of energy, fertiliser and staff continues to rise. Furthermore, more than half of farmers said that poor soil quality (around 69 percent), the quality and availability of machinery (around 68 percent), climate change (around 63 percent), political requirements and legislation (around 59 percent) and a shortage of skilled labour (around 53 percent) were making conditions more difficult for them. And so the Continental study reveals that farmers are confronted with various challenges in their everyday lives, leaving them little time to prepare for the urgently needed transformation.

      Technology companies are needed as trailblazers

      In view of these tasks and challenges, the transformation towards more efficient farming in which intelligent applications and environmental protection go hand in hand is inevitable. And technology companies will play a key role as pioneers, guiding the way here. This is also shown by the Continental study: when asked what they want from these companies, 64 percent of farmers said, first and foremost, that they wanted affordable prices for new machinery and equipment. In Germany, this figure is particularly high at 71 percent. However, farmers also called for more user-friendly technologies (around 43 percent; Germany: 59 percent), the option of upgrading or retrofitting existing machines instead of having to buy expensive new ones (around 37 percent; Germany: 48 percent), and training on how to use the technologies correctly (around 37 percent; Germany: 43 percent).

      When tackling the global and local challenges in agriculture, Continental benefits from the cross-industry expertise that the company has acquired in other areas such as intralogistics, construction and mining, as well as in the passenger car and commercial vehicle sectors. This includes knowledge from the fields of materials science, big data, automation and sensor technology.

      “We look at the ecosystem in its entirety, focussing on environmentally friendly agriculture and developing affordable ideas for smart products and solutions. At the upcoming Agritechnica trade fair, we will be presenting part of our extensive portfolio. With our products and solutions, we are making a major contribution to easing the burden on farmers around the world”, says Nelles.

      Continental to present solutions for Agriculture 4.0 at Agritechnica 2023

      Under the tagline “Our Smart Farming. For your harvest of tomorrow”, the technology company will present its pioneering products and solutions for the agricultural industry at this year's Agritechnica in Hanover (hall 20, booth A19). These include technologies such as AI-based systems, autonomous mobile robot solutions, sensors and tire technologies that ensure greater sustainability, safety and efficiency on farms, in greenhouses and in the fields. On Monday, November 13, Continental will be holding a press conference at its booth with two members of its Executive Board, Philip Nelles (ContiTech) and Christian Kötz (Tires).

      About Continental’s “Agriculture in Transition” study

      Together with the market research institute Innofact AG, Continental asked 503 farmers from five countries about the challenges they are facing and their expectations for the future development of their industry – Germany (n=100), France (n=101), USA (n=102), Brazil (n=100) and Japan (n=100). The sample was surveyed between September and October 2023. The people surveyed are users of agricultural equipment/machinery and work on farms with an area of over 30 hectares.

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