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Investments and Acquisitions in AgTech: From BASF's Fermentation Plant to Sustainable Green Team's $20M Middle East Deal

Discover the latest developments in the world of AgTech.

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In a series of significant developments in the Agriculture Technology sector, companies are making strategic investments and acquisitions to drive innovation and sustainability. BASF is investing in a new fermentation plant focused on biological crop protection, while Lactuca Holdings is acquiring vertical farming company Kalera.

Meanwhile, NIFA invests $19.6M in crop protection, FBN & ADM reach a sustainability milestone, and Sustainable Green Team secures a $20M deal in the Middle East. These moves signal a robust and dynamic landscape for AgTech, with implications for food security, sustainable farming, and economic growth.

BASF has announced that it is investing millions of euros in a new fermentation plant at its Ludwigshafen site. The primary focus of this plant will be to produce biological fungicides, seed treatments, and the main building block of Inscalis®, a new insecticide. To achieve this, the plant will employ fermentation technology that will help convert renewable raw materials, such as glucose, into the desired products. The facility is expected to begin operations in the second half of 2025 and will provide employment opportunities for up to 30 people across various roles. This investment is aimed at keeping up with the growing demand for biological crop protection products and will strengthen BASF's portfolio in this area.

Lactuca Holdings, LLC has purchased the assets of Kalera, a U.S.-based vertical farming firm, for an undisclosed amount, with financial backing from private equity investment manager Sandton Capital Partners. As part of the acquisition, Kalera's unique growing methods and facilities in Atlanta, Denver, and Houston have also been acquired. The goal of the acquisition is to support Kalera's expansion, customer relationships, and scaling-up activities. Kalera will continue to operate under its premium brand, and the existing team will remain in place.

The Crop Protection and Pest Management (CPPM) program endeavors to tackle high-priority issues related to pests and their management using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approaches. The primary objective of the program is to increase food security and address major societal challenges through economically viable, ecologically prudent, and human health-safe IPM practices.

CPPM provides support to projects in three key areas: Applied Research and Development, Extension Implementation, and Regional Coordination. The program aims to develop new IPM tactics, technologies, practices, and strategies, and make them readily available for adoption and implementation.

The investment seeks to develop effective, affordable, and environmentally sound IPM practices that can support more dynamic communities.

Farmers Business Network (FBN) and ADM have reached a major milestone in their partnership, benefiting sustainable agriculture by covering over 1 million acres and partnering with 1,500 growers. By using FBN's digital platform Gradable, farmers are incentivized and recognized for adopting conservation practices and reducing emissions. This will allow ADM to significantly expand its re:generations™ regenerative agriculture programs in 2023, resulting in a more sustainable supply chain. In addition, farmers are offered financial and technical support, with rewards of up to $25 per acre, to either adopt or continue regenerative agricultural practices. FBN has made rapid progress in AgTech innovation, introducing innovative solutions like the Instant Approval financing option and AcreVisionSM.

CoBank has released its latest quarterly report which highlights the adverse effects of high-interest rates and a strong U.S. dollar on the agricultural and rural economies. These economic conditions have led to increased financial pressure on farmers and rural businesses. The report also suggests that these factors could result in a reduction in agricultural technology and infrastructure investment. In order to mitigate these challenges, CoBank emphasizes the need for strategic financial planning. The report serves as a wake-up call for stakeholders in the agricultural sector to adapt to changing economic landscapes.

Gotham Greens, a leading indoor farming brand, has opened its twelfth advanced hydroponic greenhouse in Monroe, Georgia, marking the brand's first facility in the state. This new facility spans over 210,000 square feet and is Gotham Greens' most technologically advanced greenhouse, with state-of-the-art automation, climate control, and data science capabilities.

Compared to traditional open-field farming, Gotham Greens uses 90% less water and 97% less land, making it a sustainable and eco-conscious farming model that can overcome the challenges posed by unpredictable weather patterns.

In addition to supporting Georgia's $70 billion agriculture industry, Gotham Greens is collaborating with local nonprofits to address food insecurity in the region and to promote community gardens and educational programs.

The Sustainable Green Team has achieved a groundbreaking deal in the Middle East, selling state-of-the-art equipment worth $12 million. The deal also includes an additional allocation of $8 million for transportation and reinstallation, which brings the total value of the deal to $20 million. Additionally, the company has recently invoiced approximately $7.5 million from its new product lines, HumiSoil® and Core Catalyst, to the Middle East. This deal has been initiated to address the region's urgent requirement for sustainable practices and high-quality soil. The CEO of the company, Tony Raynor, believes that this partnership represents a significant milestone for the company's strategic transformation.

Proplant Propagation, located in Jarvis, Ontario, has recently adopted Sollum®’s dynamic smart LED fixtures to provide optimal lighting for their crops, aiming to improve the quality of their products. They combine traditional techniques with modern technology and emphasize advanced hygiene and precise monitoring from seeding to delivery.

With Sollum's dynamic LED lighting, growers have access to unlimited light recipes and expert consultation, allowing for precise spectral output adjustments for optimal plant growth. The light spectrum plays a crucial role in plant morphology, which is increasingly recognized by growers, as stated by Nick Occhionero from Sollum Technologies.

Sollum Technologies provides a 100% dynamic LED lighting solution that imitates the full spectrum of the sun's natural light, offering energy savings and enhanced crop quality.

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