Davis, California, USA and Mount Edgecombe, South Africa
October 31, 2011
Arcadia Biosciences, Inc., an agricultural technology company focused on developing technologies and products that benefit the environment and human health, and the South African Sugarcane Research Institute (SASRI), a world-renown agricultural research institute that services South African sugarcane growers and millers, today announced that they have signed an agreement to develop Nitrogen Use Efficient (NUE) sugarcane. Under the terms of the agreement, SASRI receives exclusive research rights to the use of Arcadia’s NUE technology in sugarcane in Africa.
Arcadia’s NUE technology enables crops to maintain high yields while requiring significantly reduced levels of nitrogen fertilizer. The combination of Arcadia’s NUE technology and SASRI’s genetic resources enables the development of high-yielding sugarcane that could require about half the amount of nitrogen fertilizer as conventional sugarcane, offering economic benefits to growers and a measurable positive impact on the environment.
With more than 25 million hectares cultivated globally, sugarcane is the world’s largest sugar crop. Nitrogen fertilizer is a significant contributor to high yields in sugarcane, and in some production areas it is among the most nitrogen intensive crops grown.
“Sugarcane is a major global crop that contributes strongly to rural economies, food markets, and energy markets,” said Eric Rey, president and CEO of Arcadia. “NUE technology will result in improved economic results for farmers and, in parallel, reduced carbon footprints for consumer foods and fuels that utilize sugar. SASRI’s clear leadership position and commitment to innovation and sustainability in sugarcane makes them an ideal partner for us.”
“Recognizing the considerable costs associated with nitrogen fertilizers, SASRI is eager to explore avenues that will deliver enhanced efficiencies for sugarcane farmers,” said Carolyn Baker, director of SASRI. “Working with Arcadia’s technology opens exciting research opportunities for us.”
Based in Davis, Calif., with additional facilities in Seattle, Wash. and Phoenix, Ariz., Arcadia Biosciences is an agricultural technology company focused on the development of agricultural products that improve the environment and enhance human health. For more information visit www.arcadiabio.com.
A division of the South African Sugar Association based in Mount Edgecombe, KwaZulu-Natal, SASRI conducts research into the development of new sugarcane varieties and the improvement of crop management and farming systems for the long-term sustainability of the South African sugar industry. For more information visit www.sasa.org.za.