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The Mosaic Company, a US producer of potash and phosphate fertiliser and BioConsortia, Inc., a biotechnology company have entered into a new agreement to develop and launch nitrogen-fixing microbial products for all crops, including corn, wheat, rice, fruit and vegetables in China, India, Thailand and Vietnam
Nitrogen-fixing microbial products for non-legume crops aim to dramatically decrease the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilisers. According to BioConsortia, its microbes naturally fix atmospheric nitrogen, converting it to ammonia, and making it available to the crops during the growing season, thereby reducing growers’ reliance on the addition of synthetic nitrogen fertilisers.
According to BioConsortia, almost 50% of synthetic nitrogen fertilisers are lost to the environment, often with unintended and harmful consequences, and contribute about 5% of global CO2 emissions through their energy-intensive production. These nitrogen-fixing microbial products are also said to be natural and represent a beneficial breakthrough for the growers, consumers and the planet.
Mosaic and BioConsortia announced a collaboration to develop these same nitrogen-fixing products for the Americas at the end of 2020. Following a year of progress from lab and greenhouse, and encouraging results from its first year of field trials on corn and wheat in the United States and Canada, the companies have decided to expand the relationship to major Asian countries where Mosaic has direct go-to-market operations.
Kim Nicholson, Mosaic vice president of agriculture technology and innovation, strategy and growth said, “Our growers have asked for easy-to-use and cost-effective alternatives to synthetic nitrogen fertilisers that can increase their productivity and profits. After the success we saw in lab, greenhouse and field trials last year, we are thrilled over the potential to offer these products to our customers in Asia markets. At Mosaic, our mission is to help the world grow the food it needs, so this is another step in helping us do just that.”.
Marcus Meadows-Smith, BioConsortia CEO, stated, “Mosaic has demonstrated they are an outstanding partner. They have an exceptional team that understands crop nutrition and have a commitment to develop and fully exploit our nitrogen-fixing microbes. We are very excited to expand our collaboration to these key Asian markets. We are certain Mosaic will do a fabulous job.”
BioConsortia’s nitrogen-fixing microbes are also applied as seed treatments and in-furrow for row crops, and as a drench and through drip irrigation for fruit and vegetables. They are said to be robust, easy-to-use and have a two-year shelf life. The company also claims that the growers can use with reduced amounts of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and increase their crop yields.