Global Food Security Crisis: How Agritech Innovations are Rising to the Challenge




USA News Group – The threat of the world’s food supply for the future is now being amplified by atomic scientists, calling for the need to act now to ensure global food security and reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. Back in April, the United Nations published two releases on the bioeconomy, from its UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and UN Environment Agency (UNEP). According to analysts at Verisk Maplecroft, threats to food security are increasing in 135 countries, with Europe registering the largest uptick in risk. Meanwhile, the agritech sector is working diligently behind the scenes to improve the world’s chances of meeting future food demand, including with developments from Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (CSE: BEE) (OTCQB: BEVVF), Nutrien Ltd. (NYSE: NTR) (TSX: NTR), The Mosaic Company (NYSE: MOS), CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CF), and Ingredion Incorporated (NYSE: INGR).

One of the innovative approaches being proposed to help crops is the use of commercially-reared bees to deliver biological pesticide alternatives directly to crops, some believe could completely revolutionize the $250 billion crop protection and fertilizer industry. Actively pioneering this method is Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (CSE: BEE) (OTCQB: BEVVF), which is emphasizing biological agricultural products (“biologicals”) poised to supplant chemical pesticides and fertilizers. The biologicals sector is surging according to DataHorizzon Research, which predicts a steady compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.3%, reaching a market size of US$45.3 billion by 2032.

BVT has made significant advancements with its proprietary biological control agent, CR-7, specifically as a seed treatment for soybeans. This progress highlights CR-7’s compatibility and safety for seeds, paving the way for its commercial application in agriculture.

“Two years of rigorous testing confirmed CR-7’s exceptional safety profile on soybean seeds, showing no signs of toxicity or adverse effects on plant health,” said Dr. Mason Newark, Field Technical Manager at BVT. “These results establish CR-7 as an excellent candidate for seed treatment, given its long shelf life, compatibility with other common seed treatment products, and its safety for use on seeds.”

Studies reveal that CR-7 retains a long shelf life when used on soybean seeds, ensuring extended viability. Furthermore, testing has confirmed CR-7’s compatibility with a range of seed treatment products, including both biologicals and chemical pesticides. Comprehensive safety evaluations have demonstrated that CR-7 does not adversely affect soybean seed germination or growth, validating its safety and effectiveness in combination with other treatments.

“Investing in this research is crucial for understanding the potential market for a CR-7 seed treatment product,” said Ashish Malik, CEO of BVT. “We continue to progress our collaborations with major global multinationals. These are potential partners looking to differentiate their seed treatment portfolio offerings in soybeans, a major global crop that is worth US$155 billion annually and projected to reach US$278 billion by 2031.”

BVT’s recent progress in corporate partnerships has led to new international trials and wider application of the CR-7 biological control agent. A significant accomplishment includes findings from a Michigan State University trial, which demonstrated that CR-7 reduces early disease infection and fungal diseases by over 90% compared to untreated plots, matching the effectiveness of traditional chemical treatments.

Over the past year, BVT has reached notable milestones, including initiating trials in Spain with Agrobío, collaborating with a major multinational grower in Mexico, and partnering with MBFi in South Africa. Additionally, this period marked the first sale of CR-7 to BioSafe Systems. Encouraged by the positive results from the Michigan State University trial, BVT intends to replicate these trials in the coming years to further validate the efficacy of CR-7.

In the aftermath of a fatal accident at one of its potash mines, Nutrien Ltd. (NYSE: NTR) (TSX: NTR) continues to see better demand for its fertilizers in the USA and Brazil. As well, Nutrien has shared that it is using DNA analysis at its genotyping lab in its Saskatoon, Saskatchewan facility to make more resilient crops.

We continued to see strong crop input demand, a normalization of product margins for our North American Retail business and increased global potash shipments in the first quarter,” said Ken Seitz, President and CEO of Nutrien in his company’s Q1 2024 financial results announcement. “Our results highlighted the capabilities of our flexible, low-cost production assets and downstream distribution network to efficiently supply our customers’ needs. We expect growth in Retail earnings and fertilizer sales volumes compared to the prior year and have maintained our 2024 guidance ranges.

Earlier this year through its subsidiary Mosaic Biosciences, The Mosaic Company (NYSE: MOS) created the TruResponse data platform to bring more transparency to the agricultural biologicals market. Found at TruResponseWorks.com, Mosaic’s new platform delivers an interactive website showcasing compiled through various trials, giving farmers an insider view into local and regional data, to promote making informed decisions about products to use in their fields.

“TruResponse and its coordinating website were created from the desire to give farmers tools and information they need to determine what products could be impactful for them,” said Matt Sowder, Director of Global Agronomy, Mosaic Biosciences. “We know there are questions about agricultural biologicals in general, and not all biologicals perform consistently every time. Farmers can use the data on TruRepsonseWorks.com to see how our biologicals perform in geographies near them, where soil types, weather conditions, farming practices and other factors may be similar.”

Concerned about geopolitical consequences of importing fertilizer from other parts of the world, Tony Will, the CEO of CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CF) is advocating for more attention towards domestic supply development. The US ammonia producer recently signed a contract with Danish tech company Topsoe for licensing and engineering in support of a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study of a new low-carbon ammonia plant in Louisiana.

“We believe low-carbon ammonia helps unlock the door towards a net zero future,” said Henrik Rasmussen, Managing Director, The Americas, for Topsoe. “Our technology offers a cost-effective route to producing low carbon ammonia while also enabling carbon capture, at industrial proven scale. CF and Topsoe have a long-standing relationship spanning many decades and we are proud to extend our collaboration with this award.”

The move comes in support of an already executed joint development agreement with Japan’s JERA to jointly explore the development of a low-carbon ammonia production project in the USA. According to JERA, the project is planned for an annual capacity of approximately 1.4 million tonnes of low-carbon ammonia, with operations being located at CF Industries’ Blue Point Complex in Louisiana, while the two parties aim to reach a final investment decision on the project within a year for commencing production in 2028.

After completing its reorganization which included the sale of its South Korea business, ingredient solutions provider for the food and beverage industries Ingredion Incorporated (NYSE: INGR) recently reported its Q1 2024 earnings.

“Against a strong comparison with last year’s record first quarter performance, this quarter’s results exceeded expectations,” said Jim Zallie, President and CEO of Ingredion. ““Looking forward, our Driving Growth Roadmap continues to guide our long-term value creation. Also, in support of our new Winning Aspiration, the reorganization is enabling clearer focus on the opportunities presented by our global customers to drive growth.”

Ingredion is also coming off of the successful launch of its PURECIRCLE™ Clean Taste Solubility Solution (CTSS), a breakthrough clean label stevia innovation that’s more than 100x more soluble than Reb M stevia. CTSS enables 100 percent sugar reduction, and is ideal for use in beverages, fruit preps, syrups, liquid concentrates, bars and sauces.

“Food and beverage brands have been limited historically in achieving their desired levels of sugar reduction with plant-based sweeteners due to solubility challenges during the production process,” said Nate Yates, CEO of PureCircle™ by Ingredion. “With PURECIRCLE™ Clean Taste Solubility Solution, we’ve overcome this challenge with a stevia-only ingredient that differs from other current market offerings which leverage additives to make their solutions more soluble. This premier ingredient innovation delivers the same sweet taste as sugar with significantly less linger than traditional stevia or artificial sweeteners.”

Article Source: https://usanewsgroup.com/2024/04/26/the-currency-of-tomorrow-why-investing-in-cutting-edge-ai-recognition-tech-could-mean-big-money/

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