Eden Research PLC (AIM:EDEN) (LON:EDEN) has signed an agreement with Sipcam for the marketing, distribution and sale of Eden's fungicide product in four North African countries.
The product, called Mevalone, will be marketed as Araw, initially against Botrytis on wine and table grapes, strawberries, tomatoes and cucurbits (which include cucumber, courgette, squash, melon) in Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
All four countries are members of a biocontrol commission established by the International Organisation for Biological Control, which promotes sustainable and environmentally friendly means of managing pests and disease and collaborates with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, the Commission of the European Union and the European Plant Protection Organisation.
Eden said North Africa is well recognised for its agricultural output, which is increasing in quantity and quality.
It added that the fungicidal active ingredients in Araw are exempt from residue limits and have very low pre-harvest intervals, giving growers the ability to apply the product just before harvesting.
This is helpful for main export markets such as the EU, where there are clearly defined maximum residue limits and pesticide residue notifications can lead to rejections at the border.
Grapes and tomatoes make up two of the major crop types in Egypt, which exports most of its fruit and vegetables to the EU. In January 2020, Egypt's Parliament approved a new law that regulates organic agriculture and aims to reduce the use of conventional, synthetic pesticides.
In Tunisia, agricultural produce accounts for over 6% of total exports value and, in particular, exports of organic products are growing. Tunisian organic agriculture also has recognised equivalence with the EU.
Around 260,000 hectares of fruit and vegetables are grown in Morocco and in 2020 tomato exports to the EU were worth US$529.8mln. However, in 2018 up to 7.9% of total Moroccan fruit and vegetable samples analysed by the EU-coordinated control programme exceeded maximum residue limits.
Commercial activities will begin in the four countries following the receipt of regulatory clearance for the marketing and use of Araw.
Eden said it expects approval after its Cedroz product was approved in Morocco earlier this year.
"Sipcam currently sells Mevalone under the brands 3logy in Italy and Araw in Spain and Portugal,” said Eden’s chief executive Sean Smith.
“This agreement builds on earlier, positive developments where the label for Araw has been significantly expanded to include a range of new crops in Spain. The experience in Spain is directly transferrable to these North African countries due to similarities in climatic conditions and agricultural practices, so we anticipate relatively easy integration of Araw into crop protection programmes once approval is granted.”
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