Precision Farming and Biotech Innovations Drive Agricultural Growth and Global Food Security

USA News Group Commentary
Issued on behalf of Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc.

VANCOUVER, BC, May 30, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — USA News Group – The current global food security situation is generating calls for international collaboration and strategies. A recent example titled The Case for U.S.-China Cooperation on Climate-Smart from the Center for Strategic & International Studies highlights the critical roles of two of the world’s biggest economic superpowers. Currently, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are bringing together nearly 500 participants from 112 countries for the 2024 International Symposium on Food Safety and Control. Economically, the agricultural industry is surging, with analysts at MarketsandMarkets publishing a report that the world’s Top 10 Agriculture Markets will grow from US$81.5 billion in 2023 to US$94.23 billion by 2024, showing a year-over-year increase of 15.7%. This expansion is driven by breakthroughs in precision farming, biotechnological applications, and the integration of new GMOs with agritech companies spearheading efforts to ensure future food security, including developments from Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (CSE: BEE) (OTCQB: BEVVF), The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE: SMG), Bunge Global SA (NYSE: BG), Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM) (NYSE: ADM), and Origin Agritech Limited (NASDAQ: SEED).

A cutting-edge approach using commercially-reared bees to deliver biological pesticide alternatives directly to crops is revolutionizing the $250 billion crop protection and fertilizer industry. Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (CSE: BEE) (OTCQB: BEVVF) is pioneering this method, emphasizing biological agricultural products (“biologicals”) poised to supplant chemical pesticides and fertilizers. According to DataHorizzon Research, the biologicals sector is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.3%, reaching a market size of US$45.3 billion by 2032.

BVT has recently advanced its proprietary biological control agent, CR-7, particularly as a seed treatment for soybeans. This development underscores CR-7’s compatibility and safety for seeds, pushing it towards commercial use 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.”

Research indicates that CR-7 maintains a long shelf life when applied to soybean seeds, ensuring prolonged viability. Additionally, tests have verified CR-7’s compatibility with various seed treatment products, including other biologicals and chemical pesticides. Extensive safety assessments have shown that CR-7 does not negatively impact soybean plant germination or growth, confirming its safety and efficacy when used alongside 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 advancements in corporate partnerships have resulted in new international trials and expanded use of the CR-7 biological control agent. A notable achievement includes results from a Michigan State University trial, demonstrating that CR-7 reduces early disease infection and fungal diseases by over 90% compared to untreated plots, matching the efficacy of conventional chemical treatments.

In the past year, BVT has achieved significant milestones, such as launching trials in Spain with Agrobío, Mexico with a major multinational grower, and South Africa with MBFi. This period also marked the first sale of CR-7 to BioSafe Systems. Building on the positive results from the Michigan State University trial, BVT plans to replicate these trials in the coming years to further validate CR-7’s efficacy.

In another instance of working with bees, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE: SMG) announced back in April a new partnership between its brand Ortho and the Ohio Beekeepers Association (COBA) to establish an apiary, also known as a bee yard, at its corporate headquarters. The move follows upon Ortho’s decision back in 2016 to remove neonics from its outdoor products after evaluating risks to honeybees and other pollinators, as the brand today has zero products with neonics.

“We recognize that consumers want to protect their homes while also respecting the natural habitat and pollinators,” said Jodi Lee, vice president, brand marketing for gardens and controls at The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. “We’re delighted to partner with COBA and build awareness of pollinators in our community, in our own backyard.”

Following the potential closing of the merger between Bunge Global SA (NYSE: BG) and Viterra, which has sparked some controversy, the two companies have already named the executive leadership team for the combined entity. The new company, which will become the world’s largest oilseed processor, will be led by Bunge’s current CEO, Greg Heckman.

“The future combined company will expand its reach into more crops and countries, offering farmers greater market access and differentiated, value-added solutions in all key origins,” said Heckman. “Food, feed & fuel customers will benefit from a broader product portfolio and expanded global supply options.”

Recently, Bunge has finalized an approved investment decision with Chevron to construct a new oilseed processing plant adjacent to its existing facility on the Gulf Coast in Louisiana. This project will be managed under the joint enterprise Bunge Chevron Ag Renewables LLC. The plant boasts a flexible design, enabling it to process a variety of crops such as soybeans, softseeds, and innovative winter oilseed crops like winter canola and CoverCress, among others.

Global agricultural supply chain manager and processor Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM) (NYSE: ADM) is actively moving forward to make the sector more sustainable, through its global regenerative agriculture program. ADM recently announced details for its objectives of greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, regenerative agriculture and no-conversion commitment through its 2023 Corporate Sustainability Report, detailing activities spanning three core focus areas of feeding the world, protecting nature and enriching lives.

In 2023, ADM surpassed its goal of cultivating 2 million regenerative acres by delivering over 2.8 million acres. This achievement was made possible through partnerships with more than 28,000 growers of various crops, including corn, soybeans, wheat, peanuts, cotton, sorghum, canola, and barley. ADM expanded its regenerative agriculture efforts to new regions, launching programs in Europe and Latin America.

ADM’s global team of 42,000 colleagues once again delivered on a broad range of sustainability accomplishments in 2023,” said Juan Luciano, Board Chair and CEO of ADM. “What is even more exciting is the opportunity ahead of us. From our expanding leadership role in the decarbonization of the industries in which we operate, to the potential for the bioeconomy to transform how we think about food, feed, fuel and industrial and consumer products, ADM is helping pave the pathway toward a better future for us all.”

Leading Chinese agricultural tech company Origin Agritech Limited (NASDAQ: SEED) recently received a GMO safety certificate for its transgenic maize, BBL2-2. Marking a significant milestone for the company and the agricultural sector, the newly certified BBL2-2 maize contains two insect-resistant genes and one herbicide-tolerance gene, heralding a new era in crop innovation.

“Receiving this GMO safety certificate is a transformative moment for Origin Agritech and agricultural biotechnology in China,” said Dr. Gengchen Han, Chairman and CEO of Origin Agritech. “BBL2-2 exemplifies our capabilities in genetic innovation and sets a new standard in sustainable agriculture. We are eager to lead the commercialization of this technology, which promises significant improvements in crop resilience and yield.”

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