Bioagro, a facet of Biotechnology, presents a compelling alternative to traditional chemical farming practices. In a recent Q&A session with Sheldon Caref, President at BioAgro Science for Life, we delved into the ecological and health implications associated with conventional chemical methods in farming, and how BioAgro emerges as a game-changing solution. Furthermore, we explored the role of Bioagro Science for Life in this field.
#LBS: How does BioAgro Science for Life contribute to the ongoing global challenges in agriculture, such as food security and sustainability? What advancements and contributions does it bring to the field of agriculture?
Sheldon Caref: BioAgro for Science for Life is dedicated to ensuring that the final food product achieves the maximum density of micronutrients with the least cost production. We have developed a complex consortium of aerobic specialised and generalised bacteria, fungi, yeasts, and algae that are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen, make soil potassium and phosphorus soluble, incrementing the soil microbiome and assimilating all of the plants needed soil nutrients to ensure a healthy plant at the least cost.
We help producers grow food to ensure that humans have all the daily needed nutrients for healthy bodies. Masanobu Fukuoka said it best, “The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” The focus on production exclusively is a grave error today. It places the burden on producers to dedicate the production methods for profit, not quality of life food. When production for profit becomes the mainstay of agriculture, food sovereignty and safety are lost. In place of variety, we deliver the most profitable crops. In place of local food safety, we only seek those with money. The poor and vulnerable consumers lose, and we lose valuable, resistant plant species and the plants ability to adapt to climate change.
#LBS: In what specific ways does biofortification diverge from conventional chemical induction methods, and what ecological and health considerations are in play here?
Sheldon Caref: Conventional agriculture is the use of artificial inputs that bypass nature’s processes established over the past 380 million years. There are forests that are 180 million years old that require no inputs as they can naturally cycle detritus, apply the symbiotic relationship of the plant’s photosynthesis with the soil microbiome for nutrient uptake. By inoculating pour consortium of microorganisms, we can enhance nature’s processes without any other input. This eliminates the need for fertilisers, growth hormones and when the soil is fully remediated, we significantly reduce the use of pesticides.
The result is a naturally produced food that regenerates all of nature's ecosystem elements and healthier human production methods that eliminate all artificial chemical use and single function biological products.
#LBS: What long-term environmental and economic benefits can be expected when transitioning from conventional agriculture to organic farming methods?
Sheldon Caref: The use of Bioagro Science for Life products is accompanied with current organic production practices that include cover crops, beds, terraces and permaculture conservation of water and planting of trees. Farmers can choose to continue with row cropping and inoculate the soil, but they will lose the advantages and soil improvements that are achieved with organic practices.
#LBS: Could you please delve into the specific strategies and practices utilised in organic farming and Bioagro; how do these methods differ in terms of promoting sustainability and environmental stewardship?
Sheldon Caref: The use of the BioAgro Science for Life products mitigates greenhouse gases significantly by eliminating fertilisers and by increasing active soil carbon.
The current level of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere is 25% of all GHG that has been accumulated mostly after the initiation of the “green revolution” through the excessive application of nitrogen and phosphorus. The nitrous oxide has a lifespan of 114 years and can hold up to 300 times more heat from the solar earth reflected UV. The excess phosphorus leaches into the groundwater system removing algae blooms that remove oxygen from the water, killing marine life and producing free carbon molecules.
Inoculation of a complex microorganism consortium has been shown to sequester four times more carbon than by any other method.
#LBS: Can you elucidate how Bioagro aligns with the principles of sustainable farming, including its commitment to soil health, biodiversity conservation, and minimising environmental impact?
Sheldon Caref: BioAgro Science for Life investigates the natural use of known plants, soil processes for all plants and plant families based on the soil microbiome. This guarantees a healthy soil, healthy plants, healthy humans, and a healthy planet. The philosophy is a Metabolic Agriculture where the growing of food is integrated into the entire planet and its organism’s ecosystem metabolically - one thriving organism.
#LBS: The London Biotechnology Show 2024 aims to explore and promote biotech solutions in the world, including solutions in agriculture? What is the significance of these biotech-led agriculture solutions?
Sheldon Caref: Agriculture is the single most important industry that can have the greatest impact positively or negatively on global warming, planet organisms’ regeneration, human health, and our economy.