Chr. Hansen works with University of Copenhagen and the Danish Technological Institute towards sustainable agriculture
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Chr. Hansen works with University of Copenhagen and the Danish Technological Institute towards sustainable agriculture

The Danish Innovation Fund has awarded a grant to global bioscience company Chr. Hansen, working in tandem with the University of Copenhagen and the Danish Technological Institute, to develop natural solutions for sustainable agricultural production. The 3.9 million euros-project will run over the next four years, and is called Bac4Crop. The goal is to increase yields, while reducing the amount of potentially harmful chemicals used to cultivate them.

Chr. Hansen’s share price has appreciated by 4% so far this year

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Source: Yahoo Finance

The route to be investigated, according to Chr. Hansen, includes the screening of new microbials “based on plant and microbiome predictors” and engineering better products by “making bacterial consortia.” The American Academy of Microbiology sees value in the approach, suggesting that microbial solutions to improve plant health could increase crop productivity by 20% while reducing fertiliser and pesticide requirements by 20% in 20 years.

Henrik Joerck Nielsen, Chr. Hansen’s vice president of plant health, said: “Beneficial bacteria is a natural way to protect plants and crops, and can contribute to improved crop yield, as well as yield stability within agriculture. With this grant, we join forces with Copenhagen University and DTI, to develop cost-effective, beneficial bacteria for agricultural production that can spur the conversion away from classical pesticides and fertilisers.”

“Today, there is very little science applied in understanding the mode of action when it comes to microbial solutions in agriculture, which leads to inefficient product development and insufficient products. The Bac4Crop project will increase the success rate and decrease the development cost of launching new plant beneficial bacteria as robust products for use in sustainable agricultural production. Chr. Hansen has already had great success within plant health during the last five years. Leveraging on expertise built up over 140 years of developing microbial solutions within food, it is our ambition to expand our global leadership to provide a sustainable alternative to farmers worldwide.”

Dominion holds Chr. Hansen in its Global Trends Managed Fund.

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