Isagro:The joint presence of agrochemicals, specialty fertilisers and biocontrol agents is part of Isagro’s DNA
−− Interview with David Cambri, Global Biosolutions and Insecticides Product Manager of Isagro S.p.A.
May. 31, 2016
AgroPages: Could you please introduce some details about Isagro to our readers?
David: Isagro is an independent Italian company, active in the research, development, production and marketing of proprietary Plant Protection Products – synthetic or biological – and Biostimulants. We conduct our own Innovative Research for the discovery of new molecules or compounds, one of the few of relatively small dimensions in comparison with the big multinationals of the agro-business. We sell our proprietary products in 70 countries through distributors and some direct presences (India, Spain, USA, Colombia).
We employ 600 people, among which 100 in R&D, where we invest the unparalleled portion of around 10% of our Turn Over. Our Research is in Novara (with offices, laboratories, greenhouses and other facilities); we also perform efficacy work in our Research Station at Galliera – BO. The produce in Italy (Novara, Aprilia, Bussi, Adria) and India (Panoli); in particular, the manufacturing of Remedier, our unique solution based on two strains of Trichoderma, is at the Biological Unit of Novara where we conduct the fermentations to finally get the conidia, the “active ingredients” of the product.
Beside Italy and Spain where we have leading positions especially in the field of biostimulants, it is firm intention of Isagro to grow in all key areas, in both the segment of Biostimulants and Biocontrol (microrganisms). Our star “Remedier”, biofungicide based on Trichoderma gamsii and asperellum, is an important part of this project.
AgroPages: In recent years, many multinational companies, including the Top 6 companies, have been stepping into the field of biopesticide by acquired many biopesticide companies. How do you think the latest round of M&A in this space?
David: The good point we would like to underline is that the joint presence of agrochemicals, specialty fertilisers and biocontrol agents in the Isagro portfolio is part of our DNA, since ever. So we preceded what the big multinationals are doing (making the agrochemical and biological universe merging) and we can take advantage of it as we believe that an integrated portfolio is a strength for any suppliers.
AgroPages: Most consulting organizations have predicted that the value of the global biopesticide market is projected to reach USD 6.60 Billion by 2020 at a CAGR of 18.8% from 2015 to 2020. What's your prediction and what do you think are the main challenges to keep this strong growing market for biopesticide industry?
David: We do believe Biopesticides represent a huge opportunity as several drivers will favour their growth for many years ahead. The need of high productivity, sustainability, means and food safety will exert pressure on the agrochemical sector. Nevertheless agrochemicals will continue to be fundamental for farmers provided they will be integrated with other technologies e.g. the ones based on microorganisms for both crop nutrition and protections. Products like Remedier will move from being “nice to have” options to indispensable tools for the farmer income. It is to be noted that the registration still requires high investments, not always justified by the intrinsic characteristics of these product; and that the registration logic, designed for agrochemicals, does not always apply to biological products. So, stated that safety for environment, operators and consumer is a must, it is important that the future investments for placing biological in the market will be affordable, also to medium-small size entities.
AgroPages: Compare with chemical pesticide, biopesticide seems to be more slower effect, which is likely to be one of the challenge to make the farmers accept. So, could you please tell us how do you do in practice, in order to make biopesticide much easier to accept by farmers?
David: Direct comparison between chemical and biological pesticides is inappropriate because they are not alternative tools (unless we consider organic or biodynamic farming) while complementary. New technology products need training to farmers on the most appropriate application techniques. So delivery of information to end users on how to apply the product, how to integrate them with chemical actives and what to expect in terms of performance is of the highest importance. Anyway, biological products are and will be reliable tools for the modern grower.
Isagro SpA are event sponsors for Biopesticdes Europe. Meet them in Barcelona on the 8-9 June 2016. For more information about Biopesticide Europe 2016, please visit www.wplgroup.com/aci/event/biopesticides-europe/
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