UK biopesticide technology developer Bionema set to work with Colombian company further to KTN Agri-Tech mission to Colombia
The companies will collaborate on making environmentally sustainable biological controls more readily available.
During the visit, Bionema explored the opportunity to collaborate in a new geographical territory. This resulted in a welcome partnership with Scientia Colombia, which offers biological solutions for integrated pest management in Agriculture.
The two companies signed an MoU during a networking event organised by The British Embassy in Colombia and AgriTech 2020 at Sonesta Hotel, Pereira to collaborate on making more environmentally sustainable biological controls available in the fight against pests and diseases in less developed countries.
Their work will add value in a multitude of ways, with benefits to both parties. Its aims are to:
- Set up a Good Experimental Facilities (GEP) for testing the plant protection products (PPPs).
- Commercialise new biopesticide products for high value crops in Colombia.
- Transfer knowledge in the field of biopesticides, and
- Provide training to end users in high value crops.
International collaborations between biopesticide companies in different geographical territories are particularly valuable, considering limitations placed on the movement of live organisms in many parts of the world, and the fact that the organisms in biopesticides may act differently in different environments.
The new experimental facility will be able to demonstrate the efficacy of Bionema’s range of biopesticide products – already proven effective and available in Europe – in the South American climate and against native forms of target pests in the region.
Dr Minshad Ansari, Founder and CEO of Bionema, said “I am very confident that our proven technology will lead to commercialisation of new products and service in Colombia, to combat some of the difficult pest and disease which are causing millions of damage to exports products – the warm temperatures will favour these organisms, and I think we can expect to see some great results in the near future.”
Referring to the commercialisation of products for high value crops in Colombia, Dr Ansari added “This is a great opportunity for Bionema to enter a new market, and to help growers in South America to use more eco-friendly products that provide benefits for them as well as the country.”
With the ecological consequences of food production and agricultural practices coming under increased scrutiny, there is growing public and government support for natural alternatives to the harsh chemical pesticides that have been used for decades to control pests and diseases. Biopesticides are one alternative – these products utilize the natural enemies of plant pests, effectively using nature to control the unnatural population growth brought about by modern intensive farming practices. They are very effective at controlling insect pests, while being non-toxic to humans and the environment, residue-free and highly compatible with other control methods and IPM programmes.
Milton Najar, CEO of Scientia Colombia said: “Partnership between Scientia Colombia and Bionema can develop and commercialise next generation of biopesticide formulations to tackle rising pest and disease problem in high value crops in Colombia. Milton also highlighted the need of eco-friendly solution which benefits producers and consumers.”
Colin Martin-Reynolds CMG, UK Ambassador to Colombia, said “The UK offers world-class technology and innovative solutions that can support Colombia in realising the incredible potential of its agricultural sector. This is a tremendous, concrete result for our second AgriTech Mission, which will bring mutual prosperity both for Colombia and the UK.”
Debbie Tully, Agri-Food at the Knowledge Transfer Network said “It is great to see this new collaboration resulting from the AgriTech mission to Colombia that KTN played a key part in organising. We look forward to seeing many more UK and Colombian partners connecting as a result of the mission and following the positive impact these collaborations have.”