The science of chemical-free agriculture
Stephen Ford is setting out to revolutionise the world’s agriculture, from an industrial unit in Pukekohe. That may sound unlikely, but after years of successful field trials Ford and his team at Biotelliga is commercialising a technology with the potential to supersede and replace the world’s chemical pesticides, with completely non-toxic alternatives. This includes filling the multi-billion dollar niche now vacated by the recent ban on ‘neonicotinoid’ type pesticides in the European Union.
Ford has spent the last 15 years working to harness the pest-killing power of naturally occurring fungi and bacteria. These tiny critters produce safe compounds that travel through the plant killing, sucking and chewing insects, while others bore through the skin of the target bugs and kill them within 48 hours by using them as a food source. Nasty, but very handy for food producers.
Ford says: “They have been naturally occurring in the environment for billions of years and have evolved to control specific pests with absolutely no toxicity to humans, other mammals, plants, or predatory insects.”
The company has had several products already on the market and more in the testing pipeline. It is now busy building an unprecedented national and international network of academics, scientists and innovators to help develop this work, and is on the hunt for big-time investment to begin scaling up for world domination.