Meet Our New Regional Sales Manager for Row Crops!

The Ag Biotech team is thrilled to announce the arrival of Sam Tischler as our new Regional Sales Manager for Row Crops! Sam officially joined us on February 5th, and we’re excited to leverage his extensive experience and deep understanding of the agricultural industry to drive growth across the Northeast region.

Sam brings a wealth of knowledge and proven expertise to the table. With his impressive background in agricultural inputs and his certification as a Crop Advisor, he possesses a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities faced by farmers in the Northeast. This combination of experience and local knowledge positions him perfectly to lead our dedicated sales team and build strong relationships with our valued customers. In Sam’s own words, “I’ve been working with row crops for the past six years. After finding out about the innovative, easy-to-use, and cost-effective products that Ag BioTech offers, I immediately jumped on the opportunity to join their team. In my new capacity as the Row Crops Sales Manager for Ag BioTech, my primary goal is to leverage the unique value proposition that Ag BioTech offers to enhance the profitability and resilience of row crop producers.”

Sam’s passion for agriculture and commitment to sustainable practices aligns perfectly with the core values of Ag Biotech. He understands the importance of innovative solutions that empower farmers to achieve optimal yields while safeguarding the environment. We are confident that his leadership will be instrumental in expanding our reach and impact within the Northeast row crop market.

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Sam! We’re excited to have him on board and eager to see him contribute his expertise and enthusiasm to our team. We look forward to supporting him in achieving success and propelling Ag Biotech to new heights in the region.

Sustainable Innovation

Established in 1992, Ag Biotech has prioritized sustainable innovation by bringing biostimulants and biofertilizers to the agricultural global market, shaping the landscape of farming practices and the resilience of farmers in developing countries. At the heart of Ag Biotech’s mission lies a commitment to sustainable intensification that supports our growing global food demand, aligning seamlessly with several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These SDGs include Zero Hunger, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life on Land, and Partnerships for the Goals.

SDG 2: Zero Hunger

In our rapidly growing global population, sustainable agriculture is critical to provide accessible and affordable food for people. Achieving zero hunger is foundational for human well-being and global stability. Sustainable agriculture plays a pivotal role in providing nutritious food, reducing malnutrition, and ensuring the long-term viability of farming systems.

Currently we have partners in over 20 countries across North and Central America, the Caribbean, East Africa, and Southeast Asia, and expansions in Europe and Northern Africa. Ag Biotech actively collaborates with farmers globally, tailoring our sustainable solutions to the specific needs and challenges faced by communities. Through this tailored approach, we strive to empower farmers to achieve food security while minimizing environmental impact.

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Decent work and economic growth are essential for poverty reduction and social development. The goal emphasizes the creation of quality jobs, ensuring fair wages, and fostering economic opportunities in our rapidly shifting global economy.

Ag Biotech’s impact extends beyond the fields, reaching the very core of economic sustainability and playing a vital role in job creation within the agricultural sector. By providing sustainable solutions, we not only enhance farm productivity but also contribute to the creation of decent work opportunities for individuals involved in the agricultural value chain.

By supporting rural farmers to maximize their yields, thus their return on investment for their crops, they stay actively competitive in the agricultural market. In Vietnam, for instance, the use of Bio Shot has led to a 25% increase in rice yield, meanwhile in East Africa, Ag Biotech’s biofertilizers have been shown to increase maize yield by up to 30%, significantly enhancing food security and farmer income.

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Responsible consumption and production are critical for minimizing environmental impact, conserving natural resources, and addressing the challenges of climate change. It addresses the need to reduce waste generation, promote resource efficiency, and ensure sustainable consumption patterns.

By providing sustainable solutions for farmers with biostimulants and biofertilizers, Ag Biotech supports responsible consumption by reducing the dependence on synthetic chemicals and fertilizers. This shift towards more sustainable agricultural practices contributes to responsible production, ensuring that the environmental impact of farming activities is minimized.

The use of synthetic fertilizers has detrimental effects on the local ecosystems, both on land and in the water. Our desired transition away from synthetic fertilizers towards more natural solutions supports healthy and productive soil for current crops and future generations.

SDG 13: Climate Action

Climate action is crucial for preserving ecosystems, protecting communities from climate-related disasters, and ensuring a sustainable future. Sustainable agriculture plays a significant role in mitigating climate change and adapting to its effects. It recognizes that climate change is a global challenge that requires collaborative efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience.

As our global temperature continues to increase with the release of greenhouse gas emissions, weather patterns are becoming more intense and less predictable. In Asia, annual rainfall is more extreme, leading to floods and a loss in crops and revenue. Meanwhile in East Africa, a 40-year drought has been relieved by torrential downpours, leading to catastrophic flooding.
As the impacts of climate change become increasingly evident, Ag Biotech actively promotes sustainable solutions that reduce the associated carbon footprint as well as promote healthy and fertile soil conditions. The integration of biostimulants and biofertilizers into farming systems minimizes the reliance on synthetic chemicals, including costly fertilizers, reducing the carbon footprint associated with conventional farming practices, as well as increasing the resilience of the land in drought-prone areas.

SDG 15: Life on Land

Healthy terrestrial ecosystems are vital for biodiversity, climate regulation, and supporting human livelihoods. The goal emphasizes the need to halt deforestation, restore degraded land, and promote sustainable land management practices. Our interconnected world and the human species as a whole are dependent on effective land management practices.

The health of our planet’s soil is intricately tied to the flourishing of life on land. Ag Biotech’s focus on sustainable intensification directly promotes practices that preserve soil health and nutrient content. Through our innovative solutions, Ag Biotech empowers farmers to cultivate the land while safeguarding its long-term viability, contributing to the broader goal of sustaining life on Earth and being conscious stewards of the land we rely on.

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Building effective partnerships is essential for mobilizing resources, sharing knowledge, and fostering collective action to address global challenges. It emphasizes the need for global collaboration between governments, the private sector, and civil society to implement and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

Ag Biotech’s commitment to collaborating with farmers, distributors, and agricultural organizations globally contributes to the collective effort required to achieve sustainable development. Our commitment to technical excellence, expertise in the biostimulants and biofertilizers markets, and dedication to sustainable intensification make us the ideal choice for enhancing agricultural productivity while protecting the environment.

In the agricultural market, Ag Biotech emerges as a leader, showcasing that sustainable intensification is not just a goal but a reality. By aligning with key UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those related to hunger eradication, decent work, economic growth, responsible consumption and production, climate action, and life on land, Ag Biotech is actively contributing to a more sustainable and resilient agricultural future.

As our company continues to pioneer advancements in biostimulants and biofertilizers, its impact reverberates globally, nurturing the soil, feeding the hungry, and supporting responsible consumption and production for a greener tomorrow.

Contact Ag Biotech today to explore how our sustainable solutions can transform farming operations and pave the way for a brighter, more sustainable future.

SUPPORTING SUSTAINABILITY IN SMALLHOLDER MARKETS

Introduction

As the world grapples with the escalating challenges of climate change, smallholder farmers find themselves on the front lines. With a deep understanding of the land and a commitment to the stewardship of our natural resources, these farmers are not just cultivators of crops but contributors to global food security. Yet, they are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. This article sheds light on the plight of smallholder farmers, particularly in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. It introduces Ag BioTech’s innovative climate-smart agriculture solutions that are helping to empower these vital food producers against the looming threats of climate change.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), smallholder farmers operating on less than 5 hectares of agricultural land per household constitute a substantial portion of the world’s agricultural labor force and food production. In total, smallholder farm units contribute over 70% of food calories produced globally and account for a significant portion of the global production of many staple crops. These smallholder farmers are the backbone of communities globally and necessary contributors to our global food system, yet their ability to remain resilient to the changing climate is more critical now than ever.

Climate Change Impacts on Small Holder Farmers

Smallholder farmers in tropical and arid climates are facing the bulk of our shifting climate. The altering weather patterns and extreme climatic events including droughts and floods pose significant threats to their crops and livelihoods. The volatile environment has devastating impacts on crop growth, soil health, and water availability, especially in vulnerable regions where farmers have fewer resources to adapt to the threats of climate change. According to The International Monetary Fund (IMF), each increase of 1 degree Celsius correlates to a three-percentage-point reduction in agricultural output in developing countries.

The frequency and intensity of flooding events across the globe are expected to increase as the hydrological cycle amplifies with anthropogenic global warming, known as the Clausius-Clapeyron relationship. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that both heavy and intense precipitation is projected to intensify and become more frequent in South, Southeast, and East Asia, with more intense fluctuation. As seen in the graph below, seasonal precipitation is estimated to continue to increase throughout the century with less annual stability under RCP4.5, a moderate scenario of greenhouse gas emissions.

Projected Mean Annual Precipitation in Southeast Asia.

Total precipitation under RCP4.5 during January of 2013 (a), 2030 (b), 2050 (c), and 2070 (d). RCP4.5 is a moderate scenario where greenhouse gas concentrations are limited and stabilized by 2100 (APN).

Meanwhile in Sub-Saharan Africa, of the 30 worst climate events in history, 6 have taken place in the last 24 months. East Africa has just suffered a 40-year drought, followed by torrential rain which has flooded the sun-baked land; a result of the worst storm experienced in the last century, as found by Yale Climate Connections. Smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa are consistently navigating the environmental shifts between longer dry spells and an increase in cyclones that make landfall. The IMF forecasts crop yields in sub-Saharan Africa will decline by 5 to 17 percent by 2050, despite a rapidly growing population and already strained food security.

Global Food Insecurity

Smallholder farmers are the cornerstone of food production in many regions, yet the volatility of climate change threatens this critical role. As per recent FAO reports, the role of small farms in feeding the global population is monumental, with a majority of food calories consumed globally originating from these critical operations.

The chart below delineates the share of global staple crop production attributable to smallholder farms, illustrating the predominance of small farms in the production of rice, peanut, cassava, millet, sugarcane, what, maize, and soy — key staples that millions depend on.

Share of global production of major food crops in developing countries according to farm size

Percent of global production by mass of staple crops, originating from each agricultural land mass category classification (Zero Carbon Analytics, data from IOP Publishing).

According to the U.N. World Food Program, 170 million people in sub-Saharan Africa face severe hunger this year, with figures expected to rise as the disruption in resource availability continues to worsen. Globally, as many as 783 million people are hungry, and the World Bank warns that a 4-degree Celsius rise could escalate global hunger, impacting up to 1.8 billion people. Such a spike in food insecurity would disproportionately affect Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa — regions heavily reliant on smallholder farms for local food supply.

In Asia and the Pacific, small farms are responsible for roughly 80% of food consumption, while in Sub-Saharan Africa, they contribute up to 90% of the local food production. The centrality of these farmers in maintaining regional food security underpins the urgency for climate-resilient agricultural practices.

Currently, climate disasters are outpacing innovation. It is imperative that we collectively focus on agricultural development, identified as an essential component of the first Sustainable Development Goal of ‘Reducing Poverty and Hunger’, specifically regarding investments in small farms.

The Role of Climate-Smart Agriculture

In response to these challenges, climate-smart agriculture is a necessary adaptation to maintain a productive and profitable crop yield. Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an approach that seeks to transform agricultural systems to effectively support food security in the new realities of a warming world. As per the World Bank, CSA involves three key pillars: sustainably increasing agricultural productivity, adapting and building resilience to climate change, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Climate change and food and nutrition insecurity pose two of the greatest development challenges of our time and yet a more sustainable food system can not only heal the planet, but ensure food security for all.” – World Bank, Climate-Smart Agriculture

Ag Biotech’s strategies and products directly align with CSA principles and promote a more sustainable agricultural landscape. For instance, our biofertilizers and biostimulants help increase crop resilience to climatic stressors, thereby ensuring consistent productivity even under adverse conditions.

In Vietnam, for instance, the use of BioShot has led to a 25% increase in rice yield, meanwhile in East Africa, Ag Biotech’s biofertilizers have been shown to increase maize yield by up to 30%, significantly enhancing food security and farmer income.

We can understand the positive impact that climate-smart agriculture has for farmers, by looking at the experience of Akello Grace in Dokolo District, Uganda. Grace is a 28-year-old farmer, who saw a 500% increase in maize yield, and a 460% yield increase in sorghum production after implementing CSA measures including bio-fertilizer usage, optimal weeding, and deploying a high-yield seed variant.

In Akello Grace’s words:

“I used to harvest a maximum of 4-5 bags (400-500 kgs) per acre for maize and 3-4 bags (300-400 kgs) for sorghum. Since enrolling with Agro Tourism Association (ATA) things have changed. In the training, they told us other varieties which can give you 4-5 times the bags I was getting. They taught us at the demo site how to plant seeds using plant nutrients (fertilizer) and why it’s important to do a timely weeding. After applying what I learnt, I was able to get 20 bags (2050 kgs) of maize (DK 777) and 14 bags (1400 kgs) of white sorghum (chromatin variety). This has greatly improved my income”

Enhancing Crop Yields and Supporting Farmers

Ag Biotech’s flagship products, BioShot and BioSeed, exemplify how targeted product design can revolutionize smallholder agriculture. These products improve productivity and contribute to the health and vitality of the land ecosystem through 4 main objectives.

  1. Sustainable Intensification: Our solutions are engineered to improve soil health and intensify crop production on existing land, making each square meter more productive and sustainable.
  2. Nutrient Availability: Our products are specifically designed to improve nutrient mobility, availability, and assimilation, to supplement fertilizer use for crops.
  3. Stress Reduction: Through the advanced formulations of our products, we tackle abiotic and biotic stress factors like drought and herbicide damage that are exacerbated by climate change, as well as preventing disease infection, thereby ensuring more resilient crop yields.
  4. Improved Quality: Our biostimulants not only boost yield but also improve crop quality, helping farmers meet the stringent export requirements, and thereby becoming more competitive on the global stage and increasing household income for smallholder farmers.

Ag Biotech understands the unique challenges of smallholder farmers and have designed our products for maximum efficiency and accessibility such as smaller packaging suitable for smallholder farmer use. The packaging presentations of Bio Seed and Bio Shot are tailored to a 1-acre (0.4 hectare) property, allowing farmers to optimize their investments for the necessary products, without purchasing more than needed. The effective packaging of our concentrated products makes it easier to ship globally to rural areas while minimizing shipping fees thus providing a more accessible product in ways that have historically been unfeasible for farmers in developing regions.

The user-friendliness of Ag Biotech’s product line also lowers the barrier to entry for use of these products. There are no maximum residue restrictions for these products, no human or environmental safety concerns, no phytotoxicity issues, and can be applied with standard small farm application means. This means that these products can be easily adopted in farmer’s practices without any concerns that conventional agrichemicals may carry.

Ag Biotech’s product offering has been pivotal for a successful yield increase for smallholder farmers in North America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Southeast Asia, with the anticipated extension into Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. Our products have helped smallholder farmers improve their crop yield, income and livelihood, and remain resilient to the unpredictable changes in our global climate.

Ag Biotech’s Global Presence

Global Presence of Ag Biotech as of 2023

Conclusion

In the complex challenge of global climate change, Ag Biotech stands as a committed advocate for smallholder farmers. Our mission extends beyond boosting crop yields, to cultivating a sustainable future through practices that strengthen the resilience of both the land and those who tend it. With innovative products and a strategic approach, we’re not only responding to the immediate needs but also anticipating the shifting paradigms of agriculture in a warming world.

Ag Biotech is dedicated to ongoing research and development, seeking ways to improve our products and strategies in response to the evolving needs of smallholder farmers and the changing climate. We recognize that our work requires collaboration, involving not just farmers and agricultural professionals, but also communities and global partners committed to sustainable development.

Contact Tristan Hudak, our Director of International Development, to discover how Ag Biotech’s products can directly improve your crop yield and build resilience in your community.

Email: [email protected] |

Resources:

APN. Climate change scenarios over Southeast Asia.

Climate change scenarios over Southeast Asia

IPCC. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg2/chapter/chapter-10/#:~:text=Both%20heavy%20and%20intense%20precipitation,et%20al.%2C%202021).

IOP Publishing.”Subnational distribution of average farm size and
smallholder contributions to global food production” https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/11/12/124010/pdf

Frontiers, Drivers of rainfall trends in and around Mainland Southeast Asia. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fclim.2022.926568/full

Frontiers. Contribution of smallholder farmers to food security and opportunities for resilient farming systems. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fsufs.2023.1149854/full

FAO. The State of Food and Agriculture 2023. https://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/cc7724en

FAO. Climate Smart Agriculture Sourcebook, Adaptation & Mitigation. https://www.fao.org/climate-smart-agriculture-sourcebook/concept/module-a2-adaptation-mitigation/a2-overview/en/

World Food Programme. https://www.wfp.org/global-hunger-crisis

Yale Climate Connections. https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2023/05/five-of-africas-top-30-deadliest-weather-disasters-have-occurred-since-2022/

International Monetary Fund. “Climate Change and Chronic Food Insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa”. https://www.elibrary.imf.org/view/journals/087/2022/016/article-A001-en.xml

International Monetary Fund. “Boiling Point”. https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/fandd/issues/2018/09/southeast-asia-climate-change-and-greenhouse-gas-emissions-prakash

Earth Stat. http://www.earthstat.org/

Zero Carbon Analytics. Smallholder farmers, agricultural sustainability and global food security. https://zerocarbon-analytics.org/archives/food/smallholder-farmers-agricultural-sustainability-and-food-security