4 key solutions to support sustainable agriculture
Why Asia should embrace sustainable agriculture now
Asia’s population is growing rapidly. According to the United Nations World Population Prospects 2022, it is expected to reach a staggering 4.9 billion people by 2030. The agricultural industry is crucial to meeting the increased demand for food this will cause. There is also a pivotal role for agriculture in the Asian economy. It currently contributes 10% of the GDP and employs 40% of the workforce. The rapid population expansion along with factors such as extreme weather events, urbanization and more awareness of the environmental impact, is putting this vital industry under threat.
It is not surprising that the Asian Pacific Seed Association recognizes the importance of sustainable agriculture in its mission statement: “Sustainable agriculture through the production and trade of quality seeds for the world”.
What is the responsible approach?
Intensifying agriculture by using more land and chemicals may increase output, but it is also likely to increase the impact on the environment and make the existing issues worse. How can we then meet the increasing demands responsibly? The solution lies in transitioning to more sustainable agricultural practices. These practices should build resilience to climate change, reduce the negative impact of land cultivation and, at the same time, secure a constant supply of safe food.
What can seed enhancement contribute?
Seed enhancement is a valuable tool for improving the quality of seeds and increasing crop yield in a sustainable way. Improving the performance of seed through seed technology will support both efficiency and economic benefits. Incotec, global leader in seed enhancement, offers several technologies that improve the performance and vitality of vegetable and field crops seeds. Through sustainable seed enhancement, we can reduce the negative impact of agriculture, help achieve better crop resilience and, ultimately, higher yield per acre. There are 4 key solutions that seed enhancement can provide to move towards more sustainable agriculture.
- Seed priming to boost germination
When a quality seed priming is correctly tailored to the crop, it improves the germination uniformity and the germination capacity at suboptimal conditions. It works as insurance for good germination under various conditions, and the result is a higher plant population. Additionally, seeds with a healthy germination are more likely to produce more robust seedlings that are better able to withstand abiotic stress conditions.
- Film coating to help reduce PPPs
Integrating plant protection products (PPPs) into seed coatings is far more sustainable than traditional methods, such as crop spraying or in-furrow application. Delivering the PPP directly to the seed in a coating can reduce the amount of product needed to achieve efficient crop protection by up to 90%. In addition, well-formulated film coatings securely bind active ingredients to the seed, maximising seed protection and keeping dust emissions to a minimum.
- Pelleting and Encrusting to make your life easier
Seed pelleting and encrusting improve seed size, weight and uniformity, making seeds easier to handle and better suited for mechanical sowing. This reduces the farmer's workload and increases processing efficiency. An additional benefit is that the seed coating enables the integration of active materials that support healthy plant growth.
To protect the environment, the ideal seed coating is microplastic free. Incotec recognized several years ago that microplastic-free seed coatings were the right path to take. As a result, there is already a range of these innovative, microplastic-free products on the market and Incotec aims to have a complete microplastic-free offering available by 2031.
- Biologicals to replace chemical plant protection
As environmental awareness grows, there is increasing interest in sustainable alternatives for chemical pest control and growth stimulation. Biological products offer seed and plant protection without the use of chemicals. Developing effective biological formulations that protect and nourish seeds and seedlings under stress conditions is, however, no simple matter. This area of development is a key focus for Incotec. With access to diverse areas of knowledge and a long history in developing high tech coatings for seed application, Incotec has the expertise to overcome many of the challenges. Already, we are testing solutions with specific micro-organisms tailored to the crops and needs of our customers.
How do we move forward?
With a surging population and increasing environmental pressures, adopting sustainable agricultural practices is no longer an option but a necessity. By embracing sustainable seed enhancement, Asian growers and breeders can actively contribute to a future where agriculture safeguards food security for today and for future generations. With a long history in seed enhancement, Incotec provides seed enhancement techniques to support the efforts of seed companies, breeders, growers and farmers on their journey to attaining sustainable agriculture in Asia. Contact us for information on what seed enhancement can do for you.