CEO of Beijing Leili Group
Leili, China's pioneer in the market for algae bio-stimulants, now has the distinction of being the first company in the world to develop a functional fertilizer based on algae biostimulants.
Over its two decades in operation, Leili has successfully developed a reputable product portfolio, comprising LEILI Alga600®, LEILI2000®, SoftGuard®, and LEILI Algasoil®, all of which are currently sold to more than 80 countries and regions as highly recognizable brands.
Back in 2014, Leili launched a global overall crop service platform run by a technical team that provided support and value-added services during the pre-production, production, and post-production stages of crop development.
In this interview, Tang Jie, the CEO of Beijing Leili Group, shares with us her experiences in creating market-oriented technical solutions that are tailored to the different climates and crop structures found all over the world, providing farmers with added value.
High-quality products + specialized services cover global market
Leili’s market mainly extends to Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, and the United States. These regions have a high demand and wide crop planting area. In addition, their agricultural technology is advancing rapidly and demand for new products and technical solutions is increasing. In the meantime, these regions are mostly developed areas that export high-quality farm products. As one of the world’s important agricultural bio-stimulant developers and manufacturers, Leili caters to domestic primary growers, assisting with quality improvement, yield increases, agricultural input efficiency, and crop health enhancement.
Leili’s Alga product series conquers extreme water scarcity in Cambodia
Water scarcity in Cambodia is one of the main factors limiting the agricultural development of the country. To address the situation, Leili endeavored to promote its Alga product series, as supported by Leili’s three advantages. First, the Alga product contains Leili’s patented ingredient Kelmost, which is worked into the soil to quickly form a honeycombing colloid texture that improves nutrient preservation. Second, the Alga product also contains Leili’s patented ingredient Algen®, which can be absorbed easily by the plant and effectively enhances its resistance to abiotic stress, such as stress from droughts and high temperatures. These two properties of the Alga product can effectively alleviate the problem of water scarcity in the planting area. Third, the Alga product was produced using cutting-edge technology developed by Leili's team of experts. The technology has been sold on the market for a dozen years and is highly regarded by users for its quality.
Pursat and BMC are the two main locations served by Leili’s technical solutions. These two regions mostly grow cassava and paddy rice. Cassava is the earthnut of Euphorbiaceae and has medicinal value, but local cassava is at risk for lignification. To solve the problem, the top one-third of the cassava is cut off, while the bottom two thirds are soaked in the Alga product at an 800-fold concentration for 6–8 minutes, after which they can be transplanted.
Conditions for growing paddy rice are even more difficult. Due to the water scarcity and absence of an irrigation system, paddy rice planted by farmers is mostly dry-season rice, which is completely dependent on the weather. Under such circumstances, the manually sprayed Alga product has become an effective means of resisting drought. During the rice seedling stage, local farmers can spray the Alga liquid, using a 1,000-fold concentration. In case of rain, farmers will spray Alga and use a large-scale fertilizer at the same time, which can increase yields by 20%--25%. A local farmer told Leili’s dealer that an extreme drought had once caused the total failure of his dry-season crop, but 50% of the crops were revived after using the Alga product. Apart from these excellent results, the increased economic benefit gained from using Leili’s product is an important reason for its extensive popularity among farmers. To show the cost effectiveness of the product, the following table is a sample calculation of the cost of the combined use of fertilizer and Alga:
The option of three bags of Alga reduces the input by $33 and increases the output by $125-250 per hectare, while the option of five bags of Alga increases the input by $1 and increases the output by $625-750 per hectare.
Leili’s product covers entire growth period of fruits and vegetables in Egypt
Leili’s product has been promoted in Egypt for a decade for application to tomatoes, bananas, grapes, mangoes, potatoes, and citrus fruits, covering the whole growth period from seedling, transplanting, and vegetative growing to reproductive growth.
When applying it to grapes, the grapes will germinate 7–10days earlier if Leili’s product is sprayed once during springtime. As Egypt’s springtime passes quickly and is followed by a rapid rise in temperature, earlier germination means earlier harvesting. If the crop is sprayed continually three to five times during the middle and later period of growth, the grapes will become denser and more fructified, while an ear of grapes will grow 3 centimeters longer. The grapes are also evenly colored compared with those that were not sprayed. The percentage of grapes with a diameter of 27--29 mm can be increased from 42% to 70.5%, and yield can be increased by 20--35%, depending on the method of planting.
For potatoes, Leili’s product is used while sowing the potato earthnut. Sowing without the use of Leili’s product has an emergence rate of 70--80%, whereas sowing with Leili’s product achieves an emergence rate of almost 100%. If Leili’s diverse range of products is used two to three times during the middle and later growth period, potato pests and disease can be reduced significantly. Compared with conventional applications for prevention and control, the use of Leili’s product can avoid 2–3 rounds of pesticide applications. This not only saves on the cost of pesticide but, more importantly, saves on labor costs and reduces the impact to the environment and the farmer’s health.
From an economic perspective, the use of Leili’s Alga biostimulant solutions enables the per-hectare potato output to increase from 32 tons on average to 35--38 tons on average. The total expenditure is some EGP400, but it generates earnings of EGP1,000--1,500, and the income from each hectare can be EGP600--1,000 higher than usual.
Leili launches innovative solution for Indian rice
At the NEWAG, held in New Delhi this March, Leili presented its innovative solution for Indian rice to participants from 60 countries.
Leili’s solution is an overall upgrade of its existing applications that are based on its Kelmost® and Algen® technologies and draws from four years of accumulated experience with applications to Indian rice. The solution plays an irreplaceable role in the treatment of physiological disorders and soil ecologic disorders in paddy rice. The outcome of usage shows that the solution can enhance the biological character and agronomic trait of paddy rice. Compared with conventional applications, the solution's use increases the lateral root number in rice by 125%, while root length increases by 150%, ears per plant increase 36%, and yield increases 30%. Further, the use of Leili’s product can effectively prevent the rice sheath blight disease. So far, Leili’s innovative solution for Indian rice has become popular for local applications, which are gradually being extended to pomegranates, sugarcane, and so on.
Leili successfully accessed premium markets of Europe and America
Since Leili’s begin its activity to the international markets, development of the primary markets always are having a priority for our company. Caused our solutions brought the irreplaceable efficacy and various customization applications, Leili has accessed the primary markets of Europe and America.
To open France market, where was a highly development for agricultural aspect, with a per-unit yield that already ranks among the highest in the world, Leili has provided customized innovative solutions to help customers reduce the usage of chemical pesticides and fertilizers while improving the quality of their farm product. This not only reduces the farmer’s expenditure on the product but also reduces the environmental impact of the chemicals.
Experiences promoted in more regions
Superior product quality and specialized service have laid a solid foundation for Leili’s exploration of the international market. Speaking of her previous experience with market exploration, Tang said that one method was to take applications that were successful in one region and apply them to another market with similar crops, climate, soil, and cultivation habits.
For example, after Leili’s successful entry into Eastern Europe via Bulgaria, the company promoted its Alga bio-stimulant innovative solution to neighboring countries, such as Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Hungary.
China has rich seaweed resources. Tang said Leili is planning the development of a 100,000-Mu marine ranch in an exclusive area in the sea of Shandong Province, where it will shape a complete seaweed industry chain. In the years ahead, the use of algae products is expected to grow globally. Leili has 23 years of experience in this sector and has produced plenty of technical reserves for agriculture, seaweed food, and health products, which are ready for commercialization on a large scale. This will play a very positive role in global agricultural development and the improvement of human health.
“Precision Crop Protection” – interacting with crops
At present, algae bio-stimulants are a hot new agricultural input. Leili believes that a boom period for algae bio-stimulants is coming. The following market trends have been forecast:
1. Fertilizers will be mixed with more water for applications. The algae bio-stimulant generates a synergistic effect if it is used together with a water-soluble fertilizer, thus increasing quality and yields while reducing the input--output ratio.
2. A biotechnical method will be utilized to achieve a more definite function mechanism and more precise activity.
3. Soil productivity and the quality of the cultivated land will be improved to support the sustainable development of agriculture.
Algae bio-stimulants and functional fertilizers based on those bio-stimulants will function more significantly in terms of soil improvement and soil amendment. Due to the impact of climate change on the plant’s physiological activity, the demand for high-quality fruit and vegetables, the reduced quality of cultivated land, the imbalance in soil nutrients, the decline in fertilizer efficiency, and the plants’ weakened resistance to biotic and abiotic stress, algae bio-stimulants are destined to become a new opportunity during periods of low sales.
In response to the opportunities and challenges brought by the market, Leili has presented the concept of “Precision Crop Protection,” recommending the use of fewer resources to achieve a larger income by focusing on resolving practical issues encountered at each stage of crop growth for specific parts of the plant. From focusing on the product to focusing on the crops, Leili’s “Precision Crop Protection” covers all the key milestones of crop growth through its competitive solutions based on its core technologies. The idea is to “interact with crops” and work with users to find on-site solutions that allow farmers to experience the efficacy of the product, enabling them to manage their crops with simple actions. To this end, Leili is dedicated to establishing a specialized triple-layered interlock system to give its partners and users a taste of the efficacy of the product, which eventually brings environmentally friendly wealth to farmers.