The 4Ps

of Sustainable Agriculture

People

 

The global population is projected to rise to 9.7 billion by 2050. Ensuring the production of ample, nourishing food for all is one the greatest challenges of the 21st century. The People pillar of Sustainable Agriculture begins with those charged with food production – the farmers and growers of the world. Creating conditions to ensure the resilience of rural farming communities is essential to the success of the food production chain.

Agriculture provides directly and indirectly, a source of livelihoods for rural households totaling 2.5 billion people. Yet, poverty is excessively associated with agriculture, and agriculture is among the riskiest types of businesses. Agriculture can only become sustainable if it provides decent employment conditions to those who practice it, in an economically and physical safe, and healthy environment.*

*Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Prosperity

Agriculture is and will remain an economic activity driven by the need for those practicing it to make profit and ensure a decent living out of its activities. The transition to sustainable production can only take place when there is the right balance between private and public-sector initiatives, as well as accountability, equity, transparency and the rule of law.

Those involved in farming, fishing and forestry need to be provided with the right incentives that support the adoption of appropriate practices on the ground. Sustainability will only be possible by striking the right balance between private and public-sector initiatives, and ensure accountability, equity, transparency and the rule of law*.

*Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Prosperity

Agriculture is and will remain an economic activity driven by the need for those practicing it to make profit and ensure a decent living out of its activities. The transition to sustainable production can only take place when there is the right balance between private and public-sector initiatives, as well as accountability, equity, transparency and the rule of law.

Those involved in farming, fishing and forestry need to be provided with the right incentives that support the adoption of appropriate practices on the ground. Sustainability will only be possible by striking the right balance between private and public-sector initiatives, and ensure accountability, equity, transparency and the rule of law*.

*Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Perpetuity

Maintaining the field-to-fork continuity of the food supply is a mainstay in sustainable agriculture programs. Ensuring perpetuity in the years to come will require “bridge solutions”, enabling growers to move from a toxic pesticides system to a healthier, zero residue, biological-based system. Integrating natural, biologically-sourced solutions to complement and eventually replace synthetics is therefore more urgent than ever before.

At STK bio-ag technologies, we refer to our biological formulations as ‘food protection solutions’– they address the need for producing more abundant, nutritious and continuous harvests,  while preserving our ability to keep the food chain perpetually working, in order to keep up with future demands.

Planet

As the availability of arable land and water sources for irrigation diminish in the wake of our increasing demand for food, fostering greater environmental safety in farming ecosystems is paramount.

 

Sustainable production practices involve a variety of approaches. Specific strategies must take into account topography, soil characteristics, climate, pests, local availability of inputs and the individual grower’s goals. Despite the site-specific and individual nature of sustainable agriculture, several general principles can be applied to help growers select appropriate management practices:

 

  • Selection of species and varieties that are well suited to the site and to conditions on the farm
  • Diversification of crops and cultural practices to enhance the biological and economic stability of the farm
  • Management of the soil to enhance and protect soil quality
  • Efficient and humane use of inputs*
 *Source: UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute

Planet

As the availability of arable land and water sources for irrigation diminish in the wake of our increasing demand for food, fostering greater environmental safety in farming ecosystems is paramount.

 

Sustainable production practices involve a variety of approaches. Specific strategies must take into account topography, soil characteristics, climate, pests, local availability of inputs and the individual grower’s goals. Despite the site-specific and individual nature of sustainable agriculture, several general principles can be applied to help growers select appropriate management practices:

 

  • Selection of species and varieties that are well suited to the site and to conditions on the farm
  • Diversification of crops and cultural practices to enhance the biological and economic stability of the farm
  • Management of the soil to enhance and protect soil quality
  • Efficient and humane use of inputs*
 *Source: UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute
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STK REGEV® ‘Hybrid’ fungicide, now registered in Argentina!

September 10th, 2018 (Petach Tikva, Israel) – STK bio-ag technologies, the innovative Israeli-based leader in bio-ag technologies for sustainable crop protection and aquaculture, is announcing that its ‘hybrid’ fungicide STK REGEV® is now registered in Argentina for peanuts, with future label extensions on potatoes, wine grapes, tomatoes, peppers, blueberries and tobacco. STK REGEV® protects and heals a variety of diseases, including Cercospora Arachidicola (early leaf spot), Cercosporidium Personatum (late leaf spot) for peanuts, Powdery mildew, Alternaria, Rust and Botritis for other crops. STK REGEV® is the world first foliar ‘hybrid’ fungicide, and is currently used successfully in ten countries in various regions of the world, with plans for global expansion in 2019. STK REGEV® is a ready to use fungicide, used exactly as other fungicides, but with the added benefits of reduced chemical residues and much better resistance management due to its highly complex formulation of Tea Tree Oil and Difenoconazole. This ready to use fungicide serves as a ‘bridge’, enabling farmers who have never used any biological product to try one, without having to mix, rotate or do anything different, thereby expanding the use of biologicals products for sustainable agriculture. Field test data has shown STK REGEV® performs as well or better than solo chemical leader market fungicides. Only with REGEV®, farmers will realize all the benefits of lower chemical load, reduced chemical residues and having a new tool for resistance management. According to STK Argentina’s country manager Mariano Laurencena, STK REGEV® is going to be distributed exclusively by SummitAgro. STK is also happy to answer questions directly on TIMOREX GOLD®, STK’s botanical-based bio fungicide, which Argentinean and other farmers throughout Latin America have been using with great success for many years on about 15 different crops. About STK Founded in 1994, STK is a bio-ag technology company, committed to food protection from field to fork. Our botanical-based solutions (BBS), a synergy of cutting-edge scientific research and technology, enhance the safety, yield and quality of multiple crops. STK helps growers, food companies and supermarkets deliver healthier and safer food to market. Our botanical and hybrid solutions are easily integrated into conventional spraying programs, helping to advance the Integrated Pest Management approach to food production. STK’s flagship product Timorex Gold® is used to control a broad spectrum of diseases in diverse crops. The product demonstrates an efficacy equivalent to chemical fungicides and is suitable to be used in conventional and organic agriculture. Timorex Gold® is registered and sold in over 30 countries.

Effective solution for avocado disease found

Shay Shaanan, STK Bio-Ag Technologies This is according to Shay Shaanan, the company’s Vice President of Research and Development. “In collaboration with the growers, we found a very effective solution for this disease, using Timorex Gold®.” Timorex Gold® is a broad-spectrum, botanical-based fungicide that can be used for many different crops or diseases. “Here, we are talking about Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, and Peru. We are still in the process of registering this solution in Chile. It looks like avocado is becoming the next big crop for us. Avocado is the new banana”, says Shay. “We are constantly developing new applications for the product because it has many modes of action.” Shay explains why Timorex Gold® is so versatile. “It is made from the extract of the Australian tea tree. This extract contains various molecules. Each molecule has a different function. Basically, Timorex Gold® is a product that can be used in many different ways. It counters many different diseases and has different effects on different plants.” Interesting finding in banana plants He goes on to say that they have learned from the banana growers in Brazil that Timorex Gold® affects their trees’ roots when sprayed directly onto the tree’s leaves. According to Shay, this combats Fusarium disease, which affects the roots of the banana tree. “This is very interesting.” “We know that Timorex Gold® molecules penetrate the plant, but not moving systemically down to the roots . Spraying the tree’s leaves with this product dramatically influences its roots and the entire plant. We are researching exactly how this happens, but we now know that Timorex Gold® has another good attribute.” The benefit of using Timorex Gold® is also being recognised further down the food chain. One of the international supermarket chains in Brazil has introduced a high taste and quality category, requiring that produce have no chemical residue and pass labor and environmental audits. Bananas treated with Timorex Gold® have qualified for this program and have received the taste and quality label. The use of Timorex Gold® has been reauthorised in Chile until 2022 and has been expanded to include other fruits & vegetables. It has been approved in China, Brazil, and just about every US state. Expanding quickly Shay goes on to say that STK is growing very fast, with its technologies expanding geographically. “There have been so many new developments with Timorex Gold®, Aviv®, REGEV ™, and partnerships in the last six months or so”. This company is one of a handful that focuses on developing botanically-based pesticide solutions. One of these partnership deals for Timorex Gold® is with BASF, the largest chemical producer in the world. “Our strategy is based on this kind of cooperation”, says Shay. “We see the benefits of this from two angles. Firstly, these large companies have access to the big markets. They can usually offer our product better than us because of the army of salespeople that they have at their disposal.” “The other angle is that we are developing new lines of biopesticides based on mixing biological and soft chemical solutions. In order to develop these new products, we need to cooperate with large multinational companies to get access to their data packages in various countries. This is the most costly part of trying to register new solutions on the market, especially in Europe and the US.” Shay adds that Europe is a much a tougher market to penetrate than the United States. “It takes much longer, and the costs are much higher”, he says. “European farmers will not use unregistered products. We are working hard to get Timorex Gold® onto the European market. We have submitted a registration, which should be completed in 2021. This is only in two years time, but in our industry two years is like tomorrow.” AVIV ‘Low Dose’ Bacillus subtilis biofungicide Another well-known STK Bio-Ag Technologies product in the US is AVIV®. AVIV® is an advanced microbial solution, a low-dose fungicide that contains Bacillus subtilis”, says Shay. “You only use a very small fraction compared to other well-known similar products. This is a big advantage.” Shay continues, “The strain of Bacillus in AVIV® as is also much more efficient, so you need much less in order to get the same efficacy.” “It is much easier for the farmer to use”, says Shay. “The very friendly and clear formulation makes the difference. This product is selling well, especially in the USA.” AVIV has recently been approved for use in California and 26 other American states. “Things are progressing ahead of schedule”, says Shay. Hybrid Fungicide: REGEV® REGEV™ is STK Bio-Ag Technologies’ first hybrid. “It is a completely new solution on the market”, Shay says. “We call it a bridge. We believe that this is a nice link for us to reach conventional farmers. These farmers are feeling pressured into using more environmentally-friendly solutions. They are hesitant to go all out in using purely biological products. These are usually not as efficient as the chemical pesticides.” “Once you tell them REGEV™is a mixture of a biological fungicide with a chemical they know,” he continues to say, “it makes it much easier for them to use it. In many cases, this solution performs better than the chemical solutions they are familiar with. At the end of the day, they reduce the amount of chemical they use dramatically. It is also very versatile when it comes to which crops it can be used on. In each country, different crops respond well to this product.” “REGEV™ solves a big problem”, adds Shay. “The use of bio-pesticides is growing at an average of annual rate of something like 15 - 20 %. In contrast, synthetic pesticide usage is only increasing by three per cent year-on-year. Yet, most growers are still not using any biologicals. Why is this?” He says REGEV™ addresses this issue. “It is a premix, so the farmer does not have to mix anything, and they do not have to do rotations between bio-pesticides and conventional pesticides. So, the grower can use REGEV in exactly the same way he used his chemical pesticide. Only now, with REGEV™, the farmer gets to participate in this biological revolution and gets to have a more sustainable profile. He also has a new product with which manage crop disease resistance.” Hybrid Technology at LATAM BioControl Conference Shay says the company has great faith in this product. “We can see how fast the farmers and industry are accepting this product. That is why there several new hybrid solutions in the pipeline. We have many interesting, attractive developments in the works.” Jose Antonio Estevez, STK Bio-Ag Technologies’Colombia Country Manager, will be doing a presentation about its ‘hybrid technology’ at the upcoming LATAM BioControl Conference. This is the largest international event dedicated to biocontrol in Latin America. It is to be held on 14 November in Medellin, Colombia. Publication date : 9/6/2018 Author: © FreshPlaza.com