Better farming and sustainable agriculture are important aspects of global food security. Climate changes and limited resources, in combination with a rapidly growing population, have put enormous pressure on the agricultural sector. In order to feed 10 billion people in 2050, the sector will have to increase its efficiency by 70%. At the same time, the use of antimicrobials to prevent and treat infections also in plants is a potential threat to humankind. According to the UN, the number of deaths caused by antibiotic resistance could climb to 10 million by 20501).
At Chr. Hansen we see it as our opportunity to meet these challenges, through innovative and sustainable solutions for modern farmers.
We launched our natural plant protection activities in 2013 – organizationally anchored in Health & Nutrition. Through collaboration with various partners, we have combined our knowledge and expertise to create a portfolio of microbial solutions for farmers all over the world. Today, our Plant Health business is one of our fastest growing across the Chr. Hansen Group.
Through extensive research and genetic analysis, we have begun to understand the relationship between microbes and crops, which in turn has taught us how bacteria can be used for plants to withstand harsh growing conditions, such as heat, drought, disease and pests. Microbial solutions are not only a sustainable and environment-friendly way to reduce the use of pesticides, but also a significant way to increase productivity and crop yield.
Enabling sustainable farming
Our natural plant protection gives farmers access to a whole new technology and new methods that enable them to farm more sustainably. We have products on the market that work on sugar cane, corn and soy – and that can increase the yield by more than 10%. Whereas chemicals are potentially damaging for the soil and ground water, good bacteria are living microbial organisms that naturally become part of the ecosystem, they are completely safe and economically sound.
Together with our well-established sales partner FMC, we aim to expand our geographical reach beyond the Latin American market. We have great expectations to our soil application in corn, which is the first Plant Health product launched in the US market, and the first product resulting from our R&D alliance with FMC.
The long-term market opportunity is estimated to be more than EUR 1 billion with an addressable market of around EUR 400 million in 2025.