DENMARK – The global bioscience company, Chr. Hansen has launched innovation fund to develop microbial and natural solutions for sustainable agricultural production.

According to Chr. Hansen, the kitty granted by the Danish Innovation Fund aims to fund a US$4.48 million (3.9mn Euro) four-year project dubbed ‘Bac4CroP’.

As global food demand increases, the world innovators are looking to promote sustainable agricultural practices while reducing the impact of the sector on the natural environment.

The programme will include screening of new microbials, integration and prediction of data by advanced machine learning; engineering of more efficient and robust products by making bacterial consortia and/or strain ‘breeding’ and yield improvements.

“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 the University of Copenhagen and DTI, to develop cost effective, beneficial bacteria for agricultural production that can spur the conversion away from classical pesticides and fertilizers,” said Henrik Joerck Nielsen, vice president, Plant Health at Chr. Hansen.

Chr. Hansen will join forces with University of Copenhagen and the Danish Technological Institute (DTI) to provide agricultural solutions that not only ensures high yields but also protection of the ecosystem.

The end goal of the project is to increase yield for farmers globally and to provide consumers with crops exposed to fewer chemicals.

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.

It is also a natural alternative and supplement to chemical pesticides.

“Chr. Hansen has already had great success within Plant Health during the last 5 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 world-wide,” added Joerck Nielsen.