NOOA Science and Agricultural Technology will invest R$42 million to expand the capacity of its bio-inputs factory, located in Patos de Minas (state of Minas Gerais). Founded in 2016, the company has already invested R$100 million in research and currently delivers biological solutions for the cultivation of corn but intends to launch biological solutions for other crops as well.
According to Claudio Nasser, president of the company, the purpose of NOAA’s innovations is to rebalance the ecosystem of crops, a primary step for the improvement of Brazilian agriculture, he says. “It is important to bring back [to crops] some microorganisms so that we can reduce the use of pesticides that no longer do the same control as before,” he explains.
Son of an executive that worked for Sementes Agroceres in the 1960s and 1970s, Mr. Nasser has breathed the air of agribusiness since he was a child. Today, he holds 50% of NOOA, among other family-controlled businesses. Of the total investment in the expansion, 70% will be made with its own capital and the rest with loans.
After the expansion is concluded in June this year, the company plans to substitute part of the volume of products delivered today by suppliers.
One of the company’s bets is a bacterium that helps corn to survive the “veranicos” (periods of 15 to 30 days of intense heat and lack of rain). “It is the great innovation we have brought so far,” says Mr. Nasser.
The solution does not solve the prolonged drought, he points out, but if there are normal rainfall regimes and a 30-day window of drought, the bacteria helps to prevent productivity losses. “Soil is important to maintain productivity and so is keeping soils from becoming desertified,” he says
Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), which is a NOAA partner, isolated the Bacillus aryabhattai bacterium from research with cacti from the Agreste region, in the Northeast of the country. The microorganism helps plants to root up to 2.5 meters deep into the soil (the common is between 30 and 40 cm) in search of water and nutrients.
“Our research indicates that it will be useful in other crops as well,” continues Mr. Nasser, reminding that, despite the years of research and solutions developed, “no one can work miracles.” The role of the farmer, increasingly receptive to biological solutions, is fundamental for the effectiveness of product application and the timely progress of the crops.
Source: Valor International