"Everything starts with a Soil Analysis. Based on regular soil analysis Gaïago has developed Applisol, a unique algorithm to help restore the mineral and microbiological balances of soils. After that key step, Gaïago promotes its soil prebiotic NUTRIGEOⓇ, a technology which improves soil structure and fertility in less than 6 months by increasing soil porosity and enhancing the availability of nutrients for the plant. Moreover, it ensures higher soil organic carbon content through the accelerated decomposition of crop residues into humus,” said Charles Vaury, Chief Transition Officer at Gaïago in a recent interview with AgroPages.
He also shared his views on Gaïago's core competitiveness, its soil prebiotic NUTRIGEOⓇ & special features, Gaïago Carbon program and its strategic significance and specific implementation process etc.
Charles Vaury, Chief Transition Officer at Gaïago
Could you describe the current state of the soil revitalization market? What and where are the biggest opportunities and challenges for it? What are the factors affecting changes of it? What is the strategic position of your company in this field?
Worldwide, the Regenerative Agriculture Market is booming. Switching to Regen Ag practices requires knowledge, time and investment with high risks for farmers. Climate change consequences (droughts, strong rains, etc…) as well as yields stagnation or decrease drive the focus onto soils management, yet many farmers don’t really know how to start. At Gaïago, we’re working to provide easy-to-use, risk free and economically-viable tools to transition towards regenerative practices.
Could you introduce Gaïago and its team background and core competitiveness?
Gaïago is a French company from Brittany that has been creating innovative solutions since 2014. These solutions are based on the selective activation of microbiology - mainly in soils, but also around the seed and on the plant - in order to revitalize agrosystems.
The company has developed unique solutions such as the first soil prebiotic. This product awakens and develops beneficial soil microorganisms and thus generates numerous agronomic, nutritional, and environmental benefits. Gaïago products are universal and are currently distributed in 8 countries in Europe. Gaïago, a company based in Saint Malo, aims to implement, with its partners, the revitalization of soils and agrosystems.
Gaïago is labeled Greentech Innovation by the French Ministry of Ecological Transition and its product NUTRIGEOⓇL is part of the 1000+ international clean, sustainable and profitable solutions of the Solar Impulse Foundation.
The founders, Francis Bucaille, farmer and expert on soil agronomy, and Samuel Marquet, agricultural engineer, started from a simple observation: faced with the degradation of soil quality and its negative impacts, it is necessary to help farmers revitalize their soils and make them more fertile and resilient.
The current team is composed of seasoned professionals from the agro-industry and agricultural sectors.
• Portfolio ready-to-use and answering farmer’s needs,
• Efficacy validated by major universities, research centers AND thousands of farmers in Europe
• Already listed in more than 100 distributors in Europe
• An innovative Gaïago Carbon program, to finance the soil revitalization ..
Could you talk about Gaïago’s biological solutions, especially soil revitalization solutions and special features? What are the strategies of development of soil revitalization solutions? How does your company combine solutions with services?
Everything starts with a Soil Analysis. Based on regular soil analysis Gaïago has developed Applisol, a unique algorithm to help restore the mineral and microbiological balances of soils. After that key step, Gaïago promotes its soil prebiotic NUTRIGEOⓇ, a technology which improves soil structure and fertility in less than 6 months by increasing soil porosity and enhancing the availability of nutrients for the plant. Moreover, it ensures higher soil organic carbon content through the accelerated decomposition of crop residues into humus.
Soils can vary in terms of structure, compaction, crops or OM rate that’s why we’ve also developed a full range of soil prebiotics in liquid and solid forms adapted to all kinds of farming.
Gaïago has recently launched a combination of product (NUTRIGEO) with a financing offer, to help accelerate soil revitalization.
Could you talk about Gaïago Carbon program and its strategic significance, specific implementation process and the benefits to the farmers?
Soils have released about 200 Gtons of CO2 since the beginning of the farming revolution.The good news is that this carbon can be sequestered again through soil revitalization.
Our soil prebiotic NUTRIGEO stimulates soils fungi which impacts soil porosity and fertility. These fungi and other living organisms also capture the carbon coming from photosynthesis and stably keep it from returning to the atmosphere in the soil for up to 100 years.
Gaïago Carbon Program enables farmers to accelerate soil revitalization thanks to Carbon credits revenues. Practically, the farmers spray NUTRIGEO for five years on the same plot. A laboratory measures the soil carbon content over five years according to a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) methodology, to issue Carbon credits: one tonne of Carbon in the soil is equivalent to one credit. Companies who want to offset their CO2 emissions and ultimately want to be seen as carbon neutral buy those credits and the money goes to the farmers enrolled in the programme.
This program is fully automated on Gaïago's digital platform. This tool connects to the farmers' equipment, allows for soil analysis to be monitored, and the transaction of carbon credit payments to be completed.
Could you introduce the overview of R&D, production and application of Gaïago’s biological solutions and relevant facilities & capabilities? What's the biggest challenges during above process?
R&D is a key part of Gaïago’s activity. We dedicated one third of our team to this key topic. We’ve got an innovation center located in the center of France, on the farm of one of the founders. This is the location where new products are invented and tested. We’ve also created, in conjunction with UniLasalle University, a research chair dedicated to soil life and biomechanisms where the products' modes of action are better understood and described. We also collaborate with technical institutes and research centers around the globe to generate data and bring added value to farmers. The biggest challenge today lies in data analysis and management to accelerate the agroecological transition with solutions that are efficiently positioned and that make sense economically for farmers.
What are the challenges of biological formulation and countermeasures? Could you share some innovation formulation technologies? What do you think of the role of adjuvants in biological development?
Formulation is always a challenge with new products, new usages and conditions of application. This is especially true for our probiotics which contain living bacteria that need to stay alive to bring benefits to the crops. Our research team is working with adjuvants and new technologies to help maintain the product's efficacy.
What are the business model and criteria in choosing partners? What are the plans to develop new markets？
We choose partners that share the same vision “Mankind thrives when soils thrive”. We want to revitalize soils, so we target markets that are today suffering from soil fertility losses. This is not a niche market, according to the FAO, more than 66% of arable lands are degraded or very degraded.
What kind of biologicals do you think are the most promising? What do you feel could be the next breakthrough innovation?
Biological that are the most promising are seeds. Cover crops seeds could help structure the soil, fix nitrogen and sequester more carbon. Those kind of seeds are real Ag inputs with multiple benefits for the farmer but also for biodiversity, soils health and water quality. This is quite unique to think of cover crops as Ag inputs!
Could you share some changes of market requirements, regulation & policy and application technologies of biological industry (your company’s target market)? What’s future development trend of it (e.g., products, market, services, development opportunities)?
The new EU regulation on biostimulants will help to structure our markets. This new process for product introduction will clarify the rules and help make this market stronger, to accelerate growth and benefits for all the farming world.
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