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Biosolutions: Defending and Supporting Crops, Farmers, and the Environment.

May 20, 2022 | UPL-Ltd

Tags: UPLxFIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ reimagining sustainability UPL Sustainability Natural Plant Protection UPL x NPP

In football, defence is as important as attack. Although the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar 2022™ will likely see the biggest cheers for the goal scoring strikers and wingers, their work would be for nothing without the defenders protecting the goal. 

In agriculture, the same is true. As farmers work to ensure that they score their harvest goals and produce the food we rely on, it’s vital they can protect their plants. And that’s where our star agricultural defenders that make up Natural Plant Protection – NPP , a business solely focussed on natural and biologically derived agricultural inputs, services, and technologies come in.

NPP is part of the OpenAg network, and hosts UPL’s comprehensive portfolio of natural and biologically derived agricultural inputs, solutions, and technologies – collectively referred to as biosolutions. The OpenAg Network is on a mission to Reimagine Sustainability by creating agricultural interventions that meet the needs of farmers and food systems for healthier soil and more resilient plants. At the same time, NPP’s biosolutions also allow farmers to introduce a combination of traditional and biological inputs offering more positive environmental outcomes and limiting pest resistance.

Like football clubs’ training academies, NPP’s six R&D laboratories and seven experimental stations across the globe work to identify the best of nature’s naturally talented microbes. These are then trained, adapted, modified and developed into new biosolutions – we refer to them as ‘micros.’ NPP’s nine manufacturing sites then work to bring them to market and our global distribution network can then bring them to farmers. 

These plant defenders include Vacciplant, a vaccine developed from Atlantic seaweed to improve plant resilience against both diseases and extreme weather; Argos, an essential oil extracted from orange peel for the treatment of sprouting in stored potatoes; Thiopron, a sulphur-based micro that reinforces crops’ natural defences against infections; and Fawligen, a virus-based pesticide that only targets a hazardous pest Fall armyworm, without harming other species, and in the right conditions can protect crops with only one application. Together, NPP’s 1,500 product registrations across the globe help improve crop resilience and prevent food waste, all using naturally occurring active ingredients that support plant, soil and planet health. 

But when it comes to defence in agriculture, it’s not just plants we need to protect. For any crop and any farmer, soil health, plant health and planet health are one. 

Fortunately, NPP has this covered too through products like Zeba, our revolutionary climate-smart micro-absorbent biosolution. Absorbing up to 500 times its own weight in water and nutrients, Zeba protects soil and plants from abiotic stress, enabling growers to actively manage moisture and nutrient levels to create the optimal growing conditions regardless of climate. Healthy soils do more than just grow healthy plants. Healthy soils can also have a significant positive impact on our efforts to combat climate change. With 7.5% of the earth’s surface devoted to agricultural soils and around 23% of global greenhouse emissions attributable to agriculture, we are ideally positioned to make a seismic contribution to a key global carbon reduction goal: Achieving net zero through both cutting emissions, and using carbon sequestration to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases. 

From carbon sequestration in soils to methane sequestration in rice paddies - as well as supporting crop diversification strategies, land-use efficiency, and improved water efficiency - NPP and UPL are working hand-in-hand with farming communities all over the world to empower healthy plants and healthy soils to reshape the role of agriculture as a climate-positive industry.

One of these partners is FIFA, who has made a commitment to see 2022 be the first ever carbon neutral World Cup. Our activations to drive climate-positive agriculture have already begun. They include the Gigaton Carbon Goal, to help grow a new global ecosystem that harnesses sustainable agricultural practices to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by 1 gigaton by 2024. This program will empower farmers to adopt sustainable agricultural practices and reward them through additional income sources from new carbon credits. UPL and the FIFA Foundation’s global networks will provide farmers with the right technologies to reduce water consumption and reliance on chemicals, while also creating shared prosperity for their fields, communities, and environment. 

The launch of NPP in 2021 was crucial, forming part of our global agricultural team to bring sustainable agriculture to the forefront and to millions of farmers across the world. It exemplifies what we’re trying to achieve – harnessing the natural talent of nature’s tools as well as that of global farming communities, to have a truly positive impact on the food systems and environmental health. 

As part of One Goal campaign in support of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, we’re profiling some of the ways in which we are harnessing the power of agriculture to reach out net-zero goals, and equipping farmers to be the champions of the climate fight. Biosolutions represent the future of sustainable agriculture, and we are pleased to be unlocking new natural opportunities for climate-smart and climate-positive agriculture through NPP’s comprehensive portfolio. 

To learn more about NPP, visit our new website and learn more about how biosolutions are farmers’ backline and helping to change the game for agricultural inputs.


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