Natural microbial communities are turning out to be one of the effective remedial approaches in combating diseases. In a recent Q&A dialogue with Deon Neveling, CEO and Co-founder of Biotikum, we went deeper into this realm, exploring its potential in addressing challenges within agriculture and related sectors.

#LBS: In what ways do your cutting-edge microbial solutions differ from conventional approaches in promoting animal health and agricultural sustainability? Could you highlight any key innovations or unique features of your solutions?

Deon Neveling: Our cutting-edge microbial solutions stand out by focusing on the uniqueness of a specific animal’s gut, which harness the power of naturally occurring beneficial bacteria. Unlike conventional approaches, our solutions are tailored to the unique microbiomes of the specific animal, optimising their health, and reducing the need for antibiotics. Our key innovation lies in isolating specific strains of bacteria that can counteract pathogen threats while promoting overall gut health.

#LBS: As the CEO and Managing Director of Biotikum, how have you managed to successfully develop and implement a solution that utilizes host-specific probiotics to address bacterial pathogen threats in livestock, reducing the need for antibiotics?

Deon Neveling: Our team at Biotikum has worked tirelessly over the past few years to develop our probiotics. By studying the natural microbial communities within a specific animal, we've identified bacteria that can effectively combat pathogens. This has allowed us to create host targeted probiotics that support the immune systems and promote gut health, ultimately reducing the reliance on antibiotics.

#LBS: Considering the complexity of the agricultural industry, what challenges have you encountered while developing and implementing these microbial solutions? How have you addressed potential barriers and ensured the practicality and effectiveness of your solutions on a larger scale?

Deon Neveling: Developing microbial solutions for the agricultural industry comes with its challenges. Ensuring the practicality and effectiveness of our solutions on a larger scale required extensive research, testing, and validation. We've collaborated closely with veterinarians, scientists, and farmers to refine our formulations and optimise their application. Addressing barriers included regulatory compliance, production scalability, and ensuring cost-effectiveness for farmers.

#LBS: Collaboration often plays a vital role in bringing innovative solutions to the market. How have you engaged with farmers, industry partners, and other stakeholders to ensure the adoption of your microbial solutions and their alignment with sustainable farming practices and profitability goals?

Deon Neveling: Collaboration is indeed crucial. We've engaged with farmers, industry partners, and stakeholders. By understanding their challenges and needs, we've tailored our solutions to align with their goals. These collaborations have been instrumental in shaping the evolution of our products.

#LBS: London Biotechnology Show convenes experts across globe to discuss and display biotech solutions? How significant do you think are events like these?

Deon Neveling: Events like the London Biotechnology Show provides a platform for experts from around the world to share insights, exchange ideas, and showcase innovations. These gatherings facilitate cross-pollination of knowledge, foster collaborations, and accelerate the adoption of cutting-edge solutions. It's an opportunity to learn from diverse perspectives and contribute to the advancement of biotechnology for a sustainable future.