72% of farmers are worried about the impact climate change will have on crop yields, animal health and their ability to do business over the next five years.

This is according to a survey carried out by lpsos MORI on behalf of the Syngenta Group, of large-scale farmers in the US; France; China; Brazil; India; and across Africa.

According to the survey, farmers across the world have also had to deal with “unparalleled upheaval” because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A separate survey of European farmers found that 46% said their businesses had been significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. However, 53% of farmers said climate change was still the immediate priority, and 63% of farmers agreed that climate change would have a greater impact on their business than Covid-19 over the next five years.

The results of the survey were published as the Syngenta Group launched its new Good Growth Plan. It includes “new commitments” to reduce agriculture’s carbon footprint and to “help farmers deal with the extreme weather patterns caused by climate change”.

Erik Fyrwald, chief executive officer of the Syngenta Group, said:

“Since its launch the Good Growth Plan’s principles and priorities have become deeply embedded in the way we do business at Syngenta. The plan was, of course, just the start.

“The coronavirus pandemic has revealed the fragility of the agriculture ecosystem. Like a pandemic, climate change is an inevitable threat that we must address before it is too late.”

He explained:

As the economy and agriculture begin to build back up with the gradual easing of the Covid-19 restrictions, we need to support a recovery for farmers that puts the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss at its core.

The survey by Ipsos MORI found that more than four-in-five farmers surveyed believed climate change has had at least some impact on their ability to grow food and most (59%) believed reducing greenhouse gas emissions would make their farms more financially stable or competitive.