06 June 2023, Canada: MustGrow Biologics Corp. (TSXV: MGRO) (OTC: MGROF) (FRA: 0C0) (the “Company” or “MustGrow”), is pleased to announce the signing of a Contract Services Agreement (the “Agreement”) with Oregon-based Bio Ag Product Strategies to develop and commercialize MustGrow’s soil amendment and biofertility technologies, including TerraSanteTM. The Agreement is a non-exclusive contract, leaving MustGrow the ability to seek commercial collaborations and funding partnerships.
MustGrow recently outlined its soil amendment (“Soil Amendment”) and biofertility (“Biofertility”) development programs, and working with Bio Ag Product Strategies to develop and commercialize these technologies demonstrates the Company’s positive progression in those areas. Bio Ag Product Strategies has tremendous knowledge and a great track record of working with organizations to help develop, market, and target key retailers and farmers. MustGrow’s Soil Amendment and Biofertility development programs will focus on soil and soil microbiome health, nutrient and water use efficiencies, and plant yields. Initially, the development work is anticipated to progress in Washington, Oregon, California and Arizona, before expanding nationwide across the United States.
“I am very excited to work with MustGrow to help develop and commercialize their technologies in Soil Amendmnent and Biofertilizers”, commented Bio Ag Product Strategies owner, Tim Lichatowich. “Our industry needs new innovations that can support food production in both conventional and organic agriculture and I believe that MustGrow’s technologies can add a lot of value. The main fruit and vegetable regions of the U.S. are under constant pressure to ban and/or reduce the use of synthetic products, and being able to work with a natural product is promising for commercial-scale adoption.”
Throughout 2022, MustGrow engaged in market research, formulation activities, and prospective partnership discussions, and has added Soil Amendment and Biofertility programs to its growing global intellectual property portfolio which now covers: preplant biocontrol, postharvest food preservation and now Soil Amendment and Biofertility applications.
MustGrow believes this Soil Amendment and Biofertility initiative will concurrently be developed alongside its other programs in biocontrol, which include preplant soil fumigation, postharvest food preservation, and bioherbicide, which are currently under development with four global partners: Janssen PMP, Bayer, Sumitomo Corporation, and NexusBioAg.
TerraSanteTM for Soil and Ecological Health
Soil is a farmer’s most valuable and precious asset, and MustGrow’s plant-based technologies are being developed to improve not only the health of the soil, but also the surrounding ecological environment.
As a soil conditioner in mixable form, TerraSanteTM contains nutritious plant proteins and carbohydrates that feed soil microbes, potentionally improving beneficial microbial activity and ensuring long-term sustainable soil health. These targeted micro-communities are shown to work to improve nutrient availability, which can potentially increase plant vigor and yields, while reducing plant stress. TerraSanteTM has the potential to improve crop nutrient uptake and, hence, overall crop performance. There are no artificial additives or preservatives used during manufacturing.
MustGrow is initially pursuing TerraSanteTM branded registrations in North America for Soil Amendment applications, followed by formulations and brands targeting the Biofertility markets. The Soil Amendment and Biofertility products will utilize multiple technologies derived from novel plant-based extracts from mustard and potentially other sources.
Soil Amendment and Biofertility Marketplace
The global fertilizer market is anticipated to reach US$242 billion by 2030, up from US$193 billion in 2021 (2.5% CAGR).(1) This aggregate fertilizer figure includes the following sub-markets, which MustGrow intends to target with TerraSanteTM and potentially other branded products:
- Soil Amendment: estimated market size in 2022 was US$3.5 billion and is expected to be US$8.0 billion by 2030 (11.0% CAGR).(2)
- Biofertility: estimated market size in 2021 was US$2.7 billion and is estimated to be US$7.0 billion by 2030 (12.3% CAGR).(3)
Combined, these additional market segments have the potential to add over US$15 billion of target market opportunity globably for MustGrow by 2030, almost double from the initially targeted Biocontrol market
Alternatives to Synthetic Fertilizers are Needed
With the world’s population expanding, agriculture production and global food security are increasingly important. Fertilizers continue to play a critical role in agriculture, yet plans to reduce their use have been amplified in recent years to minimize the negative consequences of climate change through emission reduction strategies. Canada, for example, has set a voluntary national fertilizer emissions reduction target of 30% below 2020 levels by 2030 to lower greenhouse gas emissions.(2) Sustainable, climate-friendly solutions may play a role in helping to offset this reduction while balancing the nation’s economic health. For example, Canada’s fertilizer industry directly and indirectly supports over 76,000 jobs and contributes nearly C$13 billion to Canadian GDP.(2)
The European Green Deal is targeting a 20% reduction in fertilizer use by 2030, while also ensuring no deterioration in soil fertility, as part of the European Commission’s aim to reduce nutrient losses by at least 50% by 2030.(3) Fertilizer reduction is a key element of the broader Green Deal target of a minimum 55% net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.(4)
Weighing fertilizer reduction targets versus the need to increase farm production, farm profitability, economic growth and global food security points to sustainable Soil Amendment and Biofertility innovation and development as one potential key agriculture solution.
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