BiologicalsCrop Nutrition

The rise of India’s population and the rise of the technologies to feed it

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03 August 2023, New Delhi: A rising world population continues to put added pressure on the food supply chain, and while this is a worldwide issue, some parts of the world are feeling the pinch more than others. One such place is India, which recently surpassed a population of 1.42 billion people. That growth does not expect to slow down anytime soon; India’s population is estimated to reach (and surpass) 1.55 billion people within the next decade.

The population is not the only thing that’s rising. Food costs continue to go up, as does the cost to produce food for a growing nation – at every step along the line. It’s the quintessential struggle between supply and demand – but with the stakes being higher than ever before.

“It will continue to be a challenge to be able to grow the food necessary to feed everyone over the next 10 years – and beyond,” said RK Goyal, Managing Director South Asia & South East Asia for Verdesian Life Sciences. “But it’s a challenge we grandly accept.”

One reason for Goyal’s confidence is because of the Verdesian nutrient use efficiency (NUE) technologies, which are proven purely on R&D based and well accepted by growers globally

In simplest terms, NUE is the unit of a nutrient applied vs. the unit of nutrient removed. In other words, how much crop are you getting out of the fertilizer you applied? Nutrient use efficiency refers to how effectively plants utilize available mineral nutrients. As “The Nutrient Use Efficiency People,” Verdesian is best equipped to offer the products and technologies to grow food more effectively and efficiently – especially at a time when that is a must.

Among the products are the company’s biologicals, including Primacy ALPHA, CROP+, and Nutri-Phite.

Primacy ALPHA works inside the plant to stimulate the efficient assimilation and utilization of nutrients. It also:

  • Encourages rapid plant growth and improved crop quality for greater yield potential and ROI
  • Increases nutrient uptake, utilization, and delivery
  • Promotes plant health and stress tolerance

CROP+ is a nutritional product designed to support plant tolerance to abiotic stress, improving the yield and quality of crops. It also:

  • Supports the natural genetic expression of plants
  • Helps reduce the effects of abiotic stress through high-antioxidant activity
  • Aids plant metabolism at critical stages of development which determine the yield and quality of the crop
  • Improves abiotic stress tolerance
  • Increases photosynthesis
  • Improves uptake of nutrients

Nutri-Phite enhances nutrient uptake to improve plant health and vigor, resulting in better plant nutrition, higher fruit solid content, and improved stand opportunity and emergence, leading to increased yield potential and production. It also:

  • Improves plant health, vigor, and nutrition
  • Improves stand opportunity and emergence
  • Generates higher fruit solid content and enhances maturation
  • Reduces phytotoxicity
  • Optimizes yield potential

People around the continent are taking notice. In late April, Verdesian was awarded the Global Leadership Award in Biostimulants and Nutrient Use Efficiency (NUE) Solutions at BioAg India in 2023, which was held in New Delhi. The award was presented by the Indian Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to Goyal and Rick Riegner, Executive Vice President – International Business & M&A.

Goyal said, “The most exciting part is we are just beginning to scratch the surface of how our NUE technologies can impact and improve agriculture across India, as well as growers’ bottom lines.”

More improvements for efficiencies for Indian agriculture are possible. Currently, nearly all Indian farmers use urea. The nation is the No. 1 importer of urea and its second-largest consumer equaling 33 million tons of use. To put that in perspective, India uses 66 percent more fertilizer than the United States per hectare of agricultural land with lower yield outputs. With nitrogen efficiency products available, the effective and efficient use of N fertilizers in India could have monumental sustainability and crop yield impacts while allowing the redirection of billions of dollars currently subsidizing nitrogen.

“If we can encourage even a small percentage of farmers across India to begin utilizing Nitrogen efficiency products and other NUE products in their management plans, we will see a tremendous improvement in crop yield, crop quality, and environmental impacts,” said Goyal.

The industry is taking notice. In a recent visit across India, Riegner met with more than 20 partners that have successfully commercialized 11 Verdesian products in the last two years.

“We are proud of our portfolio of NUE products available to Indian farmers,” said Goyal. “And these are just a small sampling of the technologies at our disposal. It is truly an exciting time to be working in agriculture here in India.”

Also Read: India’s decision to ban the export of non-basmati rice created a worldwide uproar

(For Latest Agriculture News & Updates, follow Krishak Jagat on Google News)

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