African farmers are to benefit from a ground-breaking new seed treatment that ‘trains’ crops to cope with stressful conditions such as extreme heat and drought.
Fyteko, the Belgian agtech start-up, and TECHNISEM, French company specialised in vegetable seeds for tropics, have signed an agreement to use its novel biobased technology NURSEED®MAX at an industrial scale.
The product is based upon a hydroxycinnamic oligomer. From a new class of biostimulants known as ‘signal’ molecules, this naturally occurring compound performs a crucial role within the plant, ‘training’ its natural defence mechanism to prepare for stress events such as heat and lack of water.
Hydroxycinnamic oligomers’ hitherto unknown role was first identified by Fyteko’s co-founders, who established the company in 2014 to further develop and commercialise the discovery.
Crops treated with NURSEED®MAX demonstrate a significant yield increase for a seed treatment: even in the absence of stress, the average increase is between 4 to 8 per cent. In view of these results, SeedLab, Technisem's partner laboratory, has been working with Fyteko since 2016 to find the ideal formula to apply it to vegetable seeds for tropical areas.
Nursery under water stress. On the left without treatment. On the right with ActivBlue treatment.
Thanks to Fyteko's expertise, SeedLab was able to add a plant defence stimulator to the formulation that protects seedlings against damping off. This combination of two substances is marketed by Technisem under the name ActivBlue®.
Technisem was the first seed company to engage in the marketing of quality seeds to West Africa. By offering varieties adapted to the conditions of tropical zones, the company has gradually developed its own range over its 35-year presence in the African market. The deal with Fyteko marks the investment in high-performance seed treatments.
Guillaume Wegria, CEO of Fyteko, said: “Fyteko has long enjoyed a strong collaboration withSeedLab, the Quality and R&D Seed Technologies Laboratory, partner of Technisem. We are delighted that our science-led technology has the potential to bring significant benefit to the African farmers. It’s very exciting to see our technology launched on such a scale, with several dozen tons of vegetable seed treated with our formula by Technisem in 2021.”
Ronan Gorin, CEO of Technisem, said: “After many years of trials and work between SeedLab and Fyteko, the launch of ActivBlue® backed by Fyteko’s technology, and used on Technisem seeds, is a big step towards delivering improved sustainability and productivity to African agriculture. We are very proud of our collaboration with Fyteko with whom we have had a relationship for almost 6 years.”
Fyteko believes in a more sustainable agriculture. Inspired with original research, they’re making it happen.
Founded in 2014, the Brussels-based agtech company is focusing on the creation of a bio-based input economy for agriculture. Its advanced crop biostimulants emulate solutions that already exist in nature. The company believes this offers the best approach to the common problems and threats facing global crop production, as well as consciously aligning itself with the growing consensus that agricultural is in transition to a lower-input, sustainable model that delivers productivity without compromising environmental performance.
As its development pipeline speeds up, Fyteko aims to build a standout portfolio, entirely biological, of relevance to the world’s major crop-producing regions: Europe, the USA, LatAm, Ukraine and now Africa.
With over 35 years of know-how in the production and marketing of vegetable seeds for tropical regions, our varieties are selected for high performance under complex and varied conditions.
Specialized in the production and distribution of tropicalized vegetable seeds, Technisem’s primary markets are West Africa, Central Africa, the Maghreb countries, the Middle East and the Caribbean.
Our activity is not limited to a simple commercial activity but actively contributes to the improvement of living conditions of local populations.
Technisem is part of the Novalliance group.
SeedLab is a seed testing laboratory working with Technisem. Since its creation in July 2014, SeedLab’s missions have been divided into three business areas: the coordination of seed quality testing, the conduct of R&D projects in seed technology and the development of analysis tools for the field.
Ensuring seed quality and health is essential to crop success. SeedLab offers a full testing to accurate assess seed potential.
To ensure the optimisation of the genetic potential of the seeds, the company develops alternative and innovative seed treatments adapted to tropical climates.
SeedLab is part of the Novalliance group.