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  • Writer's pictureClare Nasir

Why the World needs Bio-Agriculture

Thomas Britze discusses the key reasons why the swift transition to BioAg is essential for food safety and food security

Healthy soils mean greater food security

What is Bio-Agriculture?

These are a portfolio of biological solutions that are derived from naturally-occurring microbes and enzymes. BioAg segments include biopesticides, biostimulants, biofertilizers, and bio-nutritionals. They are a safer, cleaner, greener alternative to the more traditionally used family of chemical and inorganic fertilizers, and pesticides.

It’s all about soil health.

Often termed biologicals, they offer many significant benefits to the health of soils. I cannot emphasize enough how critical healthy soils are for both people and the planet. Soil increases yields and the nutritional value of produce. Soils feed us, purify our water and protect us from many impacts of climate change, like, flooding, drought, and wildfires.

Also a necessity in tackling climate change as it captures and stores vast amounts of carbon.

There is no food security without healthy soils.

Why are you attending the BioAg World Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil?

As part of the global sector, BioAg World Congress is the event!

More than 1000 participants and more than 250 companies are attending from all over the world, representing industry, science, technology, distribution, farming, and the whole AgBusiness and food value chain.

As the LATAM Regional Director at Chaseman Global this is an important platform to connect with leaders, investors, and scientists across this sector. As an industry, it is critical we support those who are producing life-changing solutions to the biggest challenges in agriculture. There is a new generation of rising talent who are driving this industry and delivering smart and sustainable results that will benefit many.

What will be the biggest talking points?

All relevant global players in the AgBusiness Input Industry, as well as regional/local players will be attending, including those who invest and focus on this fascinating market segment developing and providing new solutions to the farmers.

It’s a celebration of their successes.

Also, there will be serious discussion points…

…Why Agriculture Needs Bio-Agriculture?

One of the biggest conversations; how do we bring all the different parts of this sector together; the food chain, sustainability and regenerative agriculture, food safety and food security, carbon credits, and the reduction of carbon footprint. A unified body is stronger in pushing effective change, which includes streamlining regulation and accelerating the phasing out of unsafe chemicals in agriculture.

The reality of climate change and environmental impacts from poor farming methods is common knowledge and becoming increasingly unacceptable. Society wants a greener farming agenda.

In turn, farmers need support to make that transition to reliable biological solutions in crop protection and crop nutrition. I also see it as a great opportunity for the industry in a fast-growing market segment to come together and become a force for good.

Where would you say the industry is currently positioned across LATAM?

Although Europe is the largest market, followed by North America, Latin America is an exciting space and has shown the biggest growth potential in agriculture. The region is home to important biodiversity and we have a huge responsibility to provide healthy food to a thriving continent.

According to Market Data Forecast the LATAM biologicals market was worth $3.54bn in 2021 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.8% to reach $4.36bn by 2027. Currently, the LATAM market is dominated by many local companies.

Brasil produces the largest share and displays some impressive pioneering developments in BioAg.

Yet now multinationals increasingly are entering this market, and acquiring local companies. This will not only inject higher future growth levels into the LATAM market, but in doing so it will breed a new generation of bright minds who will positively impact the industry.

Farmers need to continue to increase their yields each year using sustainable methods. Innovative green biological solutions are brilliant tools that will help farmers to achieve this whilst protecting rainforests and feeding the 440 million people that live here in South America.

Obviously, the new political regime in Brasil is far more aligned, and there are many like-minded governments across neighboring countries who are doing great work to push their own green agenda. A great example to the rest of the world.

What will be the next big thing coming out of biologicals?

The challenge is to provide efficient, reliant, and cost-effective bio-solutions to combat insects, diseases, and weeds, provide healthy crop nutrition, and minimize climatic adverse effects.

There is still much more we need to understand in order to develop and utilize these tools and technology. The adoption of digital and data platforms, application technology, Precision Ag/Ag Tech and supporting technologies including Nano Technology will contribute to better results for crop protection, yields and health of plants in general.

Biosolutions were once seen as ‘nice to have’ tools, but are now considered a ‘must have’ by many farmers, AgFood, the food chain, consumers, and society. This demand will no doubt incentivize more innovation and investment. Latin America is unique in its diversity and crop variety. As a region, I know it will become one of the main protagonists in this market segment with enormous growth potential.

Thomas Britze, Regional Director, LATAM.

Thomas's career in Life Sciences spans decades as a C-level leader across a number of multinationals including Bayer, Helm, and AMVAC. His experience and passion for the sector shine through with a broad skillset including marketing, sales, adaptive strategy, company culture, ESG and coaching.

The BioAg World Congress takes place on 2–5 May 2023.

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