16th March 2011
George Freeman MP visits ‘pollen to plate’ food protection innovators.
George Freeman MP today [16 March, 2011] visited UK based food protectors, Exosect, to hear how pioneering cleantech solutions could protect food supplies and help prevent the global crisis predicted by 2050.
The agricultural industry is under increasing pressure to achieve a 70 per cent increase in food production to feed a global population set to hit nine billion in less than 40 years.
Mr Freeman, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Science & Technology in Agriculture, heard how affordable solutions are being developed by innovative UK based bio-control companies.
Martin Brown, Managing Director at Exosect, said: “Approximately half of all food worldwide is lost to field and storage pests. Large commercial farming businesses already focus on efficiency to satisfy their corporate customers. The key to increased food production is support for smaller farmers.
“These farmers feed the poorer populations around the world. There is huge scope to help them maximise the potential of their crops through sustainable, environmentally-friendly solutions that won’t damage any link in the food chain but achieve pest control solutions that increase yield on existing land.
“Creating pest resistant crops is just one part of the equation; we also need to concentrate on protecting and nurturing what we have already grown. Biotech solutions exist in innovative technologies such as ours. The challenge now is to get them to small farmers in developing nations and this requires a great deal of investment in education programmes and in-market government support.”
Mr Freeman took a tour of the Exosect laboratories to find out how Entostat® platform technology, developed at the University of Southampton ten years ago, is providing the food production industry with sustainable solutions for protecting crops in the field and in storage - from ‘pollen to plate’.
George Freeman said: “As a keen advocate for British bio-technologies and agricultural innovation, my visit to Exosect has served to further highlight the importance of support for pioneers in global food protection.
“I believe there is huge potential for cleantech technologies to help us meet the needs of global food demand.”
Exosect’s products currently have 28 national regulatory approvals as bio-control pesticides in 12 geographic markets including EU, USA, Australasia and India, where the team is currently conducting extensive rice field trials. As the second largest producer of rice in the world, India is under pressure to increase production volumes and yield growth. Exosect’s technology has provided an effective, natural alternative to synthetic pesticides and importantly, early indications suggest yield improvements. This is now being researched further.
To find out more information about Exosect, please visit http://www.exosect.com.
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For further information please contact: Hannah Keddie at Grayling, on behalf of Exosect. Tel: 02380 382970 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
A 2009 report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) showed that food losses between planting and harvesting may be as high as 20-40% of the potential harvest in developing countries, due to pests and pathogens. The report also suggested that the average post-harvest losses, resulting from poor storage and conservation, amount to at least 12% and up to 50% for fruits and vegetables.