• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

Agricultural technology innovations are powering the sector’s sustainability shift

Agricultural technology firms are playing a pivotal role in fostering more environmentally friendly and socially responsible practices in the agricultural sector.

The push towards sustainable farming practices is driven by various factors, including climate change concerns, regulatory changes, and consumer preference for organic or regeneratively grown food products.

These practices offer economic benefits to farmers, such as improved soil health and productivity, reduced water use, and enhanced resistance to climate variability and extreme weather events.

The shift away from harmful synthetic chemicals towards environmentally friendly alternatives is notable in the fertilizer space.

Synthetic fertilizers, while crucial for maintaining soil fertility and maximizing crop production, have several downsides. These include environmental pollution via leaching into groundwater or runoff, soil degradation, loss of biodiversity, nutrient imbalance, and an energy-intensive manufacturing process contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

Alternative fertilizers 

Agricultural technology, or AgTech, firms like Alberta-based Replenish Nutrients Holding Corp (CSE:ERTH, OTC:VVIVF) are driving innovation in fertilizers to address these challenges.

The company produces regenerative fertilizers comprised of its proprietary blend of elemental sulphur, pure rock phosphate, Canadian-sourced potash, and micronized organic matter.

Backed by five years of research and development, its fertilizers are inert and microbial-activated, meaning the nutrients are released slowly over time throughout the growing season to maximize their effect and reduce run-off while enhancing soil health and crop yield.

In addition, the company’s patent-pending manufacturing process is zero-waste and chemical-free. An independent analysis has shown that the manufacturing process for Replenish Nutrients’ phosphorus builder product Rebuilder has about half the carbon intensity of manufacturing a conventional chemical fertilizer.

Another firm at the forefront of innovation when it comes to fertilizers is MustGrow Biologics Corp. (TSX-V:MGRO, OTCQB:MGROF).

The company has extracted key molecules from the mustard plant to commercialize them as organic biocontrol and biofertility products.

It has partnered with Bayer under an exclusive commercial license agreement to advance its preplant biopesticide TerraMG and bioherbicide in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Additionally, has secured the required approvals to commence sales of its Organic Materials Review Institution (OMRI)-certified biofertility product TerraSante in the states of Oregon and Washington, with registration applications processing in other key US states.

This soil amendment product contains plant proteins and carbohydrates that nourish soil microbes, potentially enhancing microbial activity, soil health, nutrient availability, and crop performance.

Botanical synthesis of plant-based ingredients

Taking a unique approach to sustainability in the agricultural space is BioHarvest Sciences Inc. (CSE:BHSC, OTC:CNVCF) with its proprietary botanical synthesis process which allows it to produce plant-based compounds without needing to grow the plant itself.

This process consumes far fewer resources, such as land, water, and energy, than traditional agriculture and does not require the use of fertilizers or pesticides, meaning its water waste is 100% biodegradable.

BioHarvest Sciences is using its technology to create proprietary nutraceutical health and wellness products, including dietary supplements, and through its recently launched contract development and production organization to create complex molecules for customers.

These AgTech firms demonstrate a dedication to developing innovative, sustainable solutions to overcome the challenges confronting the agriculture sector.

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