MustGrow and Bio Ag Product Strategies Sign Agreement to Develop and Commercialize Soil Amendment & Biofertility Technologies
MustGrow Biologics Corp. (TSXV: MGRO) (OTCQB: MGROF) (FSE: 0C0) (the “Company” or “MustGrow”), is pleased to announce the signing of a Contract Services Agreement (the “Agreement”) with Oregon-based Bio Ag Product Strategies to develop and commercialize MustGrow’s soil amendment and biofertility technologies, including TerraSanteTM. The Agreement is a non-exclusive contract, leaving MustGrow the ability to seek commercial collaborations and funding partnerships.
MustGrow recently outlined its soil amendment (“Soil Amendment”) and biofertility (“Biofertility”) development programs, and working with Bio Ag Product Strategies to develop and commercialize these technologies demonstrates the Company’s positive progression in those areas. Bio Ag Product Strategies has tremendous knowledge and a great track record of working with organizations to help develop, market, and target key retailers and farmers. MustGrow’s Soil Amendment and Biofertility development programs will focus on soil and soil microbiome health, nutrient and water use efficiencies, and plant yields. Initially, the development work is anticipated to progress in Washington, Oregon, California and Arizona, before expanding nationwide across the United States.
“I am very excited to work with MustGrow to help develop and commercialize their technologies in Soil Amendmnent and Biofertilizers,” commented Bio Ag Product Strategies owner, Tim Lichatowich. “Our industry needs new innovations that can support food production in both conventional and organic agriculture and I believe that MustGrow’s technologies can add a lot of value. The main fruit and vegetable regions of the U.S. are under constant pressure to ban and/or reduce the use of synthetic products, and being able to work with a natural product is promising for commercial-scale adoption.”
Throughout 2022, MustGrow engaged in market research, formulation activities, and prospective partnership discussions, and has added Soil Amendment and Biofertility programs to its growing global intellectual property portfolio which now covers: preplant biocontrol, postharvest food preservation and now Soil Amendment and Biofertility applications.
MustGrow believes this Soil Amendment and Biofertility initiative will concurrently be developed alongside its other programs in biocontrol, which include preplant soil fumigation, postharvest food preservation, and bioherbicide, which are currently under development with four global partners: Janssen PMP, Bayer, Sumitomo Corporation, and NexusBioAg.
TerraSanteTM for Soil and Ecological Health
Soil is a farmer’s most valuable and precious asset, and MustGrow’s plant-based technologies are being developed to improve not only the health of the soil, but also the surrounding ecological environment.
As a soil conditioner in mixable form, TerraSanteTM contains nutritious plant proteins and carbohydrates that feed soil microbes, potentially improving beneficial microbial activity and ensuring long-term sustainable soil health. These targeted micro-communities are shown to work to improve nutrient availability, which can potentially increase plant vigor and yields, while reducing plant stress. TerraSanteTM has the potential to improve crop nutrient uptake and, hence, overall crop performance. There are no artificial additives or preservatives used during manufacturing.
MustGrow is initially pursuing TerraSanteTM branded registrations in North America for Soil Amendment applications, followed by formulations and brands targeting the Biofertility markets. The Soil Amendment and Biofertility products will utilize multiple technologies derived from novel plant-based extracts from mustard and potentially other sources.
Soil Amendment and Biofertility Marketplace
The global fertilizer market is anticipated to reach US$242 billion by 2030, up from US$193 billion in 2021 (2.5% CAGR).(1) This aggregate fertilizer figure includes the following sub-markets, which MustGrow intends to target with TerraSanteTM and potentially other branded products:
Soil Amendment: estimated market size in 2022 was US$3.5 billion and is expected to be US$8.0 billion by 2030 (11.0% CAGR).(2)
Biofertility: estimated market size in 2021 was US$2.7 billion and is estimated to be US$7.0 billion by 2030 (12.3% CAGR).(3)
Combined, these additional market segments have the potential to add over US$15 billion of target market opportunity globally for MustGrow by 2030, almost double from the initially targeted Biocontrol market.
Alternatives to Synthetic Fertilizers are Needed
With the world’s population expanding, agriculture production and global food security are increasingly important. Fertilizers continue to play a critical role in agriculture, yet plans to reduce their use have been amplified in recent years to minimize the negative consequences of climate change through emission reduction strategies. Canada, for example, has set a voluntary national fertilizer emissions reduction target of 30% below 2020 levels by 2030 to lower greenhouse gas emissions.(2) Sustainable, climate-friendly solutions may play a role in helping to offset this reduction while balancing the nation’s economic health. For example, Canada’s fertilizer industry directly and indirectly supports over 76,000 jobs and contributes nearly C$13 billion to Canadian GDP.(2)
The European Green Deal is targeting a 20% reduction in fertilizer use by 2030, while also ensuring no deterioration in soil fertility, as part of the European Commission’s aim to reduce nutrient losses by at least 50% by 2030.(3) Fertilizer reduction is a key element of the broader Green Deal target of a minimum 55% net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.(4)
Weighing fertilizer reduction targets versus the need to increase farm production, farm profitability, economic growth and global food security points to sustainable Soil Amendment and Biofertility innovation and development as one potential key agriculture solution.
1) Statista, Fortune Business, Polaris Market Research.
MustGrow is an agriculture biotech company developing organic biocontrol, soil amendment and biofertility products by harnessing the natural defense mechanism and organic materials of the mustard plant to sustainably protect the global food supply and help farmers feed the world. MustGrow and its leading global partners — Janssen PMP (pharmaceutical division of Johnson & Johnson), Bayer, Sumitomo Corporation, and Univar Solutions’ NexusBioAg — are developing mustard-based organic solutions to potentially replace harmful synthetic chemicals. Concurrently, with new formulations derived from food-grade mustard, the Company is pursuing the adoption and use of its technology in the soil amendment and biofertility markets. Over 150 independent tests have been completed, validating MustGrow’s safe and effective approach to crop and food protection and yield enhancements. Pending regulatory approval, MustGrow’s patented liquid products could be applied through injection, standard drip or spray equipment, improving functionality and performance features. Now a platform technology, MustGrow and its global partners are pursuing applications in several different industries from preplant soil treatment and weed control, to postharvest disease control and food preservation, to soil amendment and biofertility. MustGrow has approximately 49.7 million basic common shares issued and outstanding and 55.6 million shares fully diluted. For further details, please visit www.mustgrow.ca.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Director & CEO
MustGrow Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements included in this news release constitute “forward-looking statements” which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may affect the results, performance or achievements of MustGrow.
Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “expects”, “is expected”, “budget”, “estimates”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “will”, “would”, “might”, “occur” or “be achieved”. Examples of forward-looking statements in this news release include, among others, statements MustGrow makes regarding: (i) the development and commercialization of MustGrow’s soil amendment, biofertility and biocontrol technologies; (ii) the expansion of MustGrow’s development work across the United States; (iii) commercial-scale adoption; (iv) the potential benefits and performance of TerraSanteTM; and (v) the global fertilizer market and sub-markets.
Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results of MustGrow to differ materially from those discussed in such forward-looking statements, and even if such actual results are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, MustGrow. Important factors that could cause MustGrow’s actual results and financial condition to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements include, among others, the following: (i) the preferences and choices of agricultural regulators with respect to product approval timelines; (ii) the ability of MustGrow’s partners to meet obligations under their respective agreements; and (iii) other risks described in more detail in MustGrow’s Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2021 and other continuous disclosure documents filed by MustGrow with the applicable securities regulatory authorities which are available at www.sedar.com. Readers are referred to such documents for more detailed information about MustGrow, which is subject to the qualifications, assumptions and notes set forth therein.
This release does not constitute an offer for sale of, nor a solicitation for offers to buy, any securities in the United States.
Neither the TSXV, nor their Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSXV), nor the OTC Markets has approved the contents of this release or accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
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