Aug. 26, 2013
Toowoomba-based AgBiTech Pty Ltd is emerging as a vital player in helping Brazil rein in a nation-wide outbreak of the insect Helicoverpa armigera.
Helicoverpa decimated major crops in Brazil in the summer 2012/13 season, resulting in more than $5 billion in lost agricultural production, despite farmers spraying with traditional insecticides and using insect-resistant GM crop varieties.
A delegation of Brazilian farmers approached AgBiTech in January 2013, looking for an alternative product to manage Helicoverpa.
AgBiTech Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Hawes said AgBiTech had extensive experience helping Australian farmers control Helicoverpa, making the company and its products a natural fit for Brazil.
“Through its partner CCAB-Agro, AgBiTech gained emergency regulatory approval and began exporting to Brazil in July 2013,” said Mr Hawes.
“We are experiencing an overwhelming demand from growers and we expect a significant percentage of Brazil’s major summer crops, including soybean and cotton, will be sprayed with AgBiTech’s product,” he said.
“Brazilian farmers are planning to use our product in combination with traditional pest control methods, and it looks likely to be a vital tool against this serious pest.”
AgBiTech’s biological control for Helicoverpa, marketed in Brazil as HzNPV CCAB, introduces a naturally occurring insect virus that specifically targets and progressively suppresses Helicoverpa without affecting other insect populations. Manufactured to foodgrade standard, the product is harmless to the environment, animals and humans.
To meet the increasing global demand for its biological-based products, AgBiTech officially launched a new factory in Toowoomba Queensland, on 23 August 2013.
At the launch, the company also announced the appointment of a new Chairman, John Stewart, to manage its projected growth in exports as the company targets new markets South America as well as in North America and Europe.
“AgBiTech is going through an unprecedented growth phase,” said Mr Hawes. “Our entry into the South American market was unanticipated, but it’s proving to be a
phenomenal opportunity. Brazil alone ranks among the top five countries in the world for agricultural output, with the top 20 crops worth more than $200 billion.”
AgBiTech expects to secure registration of its baculovirus-based biological control for Helicoverpa in the USA in early 2014. It is working closely with the United States Department of Agriculture(USDA) to develop a similar solution for the insect pest Spodoptera frugiperda.
The company has also flagged a potential 2015 entry into key European markets.
AgBiTech is a world leader in developing and manufacturing targeted biological insect control solutions. Their solutions are practical, easy-to-use and cost-effective.
The company is 100% owned and managed by farmers and agricultural scientists. This means they understand the business and science of farming. They always put the farmer first.
AgBiTech has been successfully combining farming knowledge and values with innovative science and technology since 2002. They work with researchers from organisations including the United States Department of Agriculture(USDA) to develop their products.
With each new commercial release, They harness biological control mechanisms such as bacculoviruses, to deliver effective insect control solutions. It’s an added bonus that their products are also environmentally safe and benign to humans and animals.
The company is headquartered in Toowoomba, Australia—a key agricultural centre. Their purpose-built manufacturing plant is also in Toowoomba. They use a highly specialised, multistep production process with proprietary technology. This allows them to produce quality products efficiently at food grade standard.
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