Nigeria approves commercial release of GM maize varieties

The Federal Government of Nigeria has approved the commercial release of transgenic insect-resistant and drought-tolerant maize varieties, known as TELA maize.   The approval was granted by the National Committee on Naming, Registration and Release of Crop Varieties, Livestock Breeds/Fisheries (NCNRRCVLF), headed by Prof Olusoji Olufajo at its 33rd meeting at the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), Ibadan on January 11, 2024.   The four varieties approved by the NVRC are SAMMAZ 72T, SAMMAZ 73T, SAMMAZ 74T, and SAMMAZ 75T.   The new maize varieties are drought tolerant and are resistant to stem-borer and fall armyworms, resulting in a yield advantage of up to 10 tons per hectare under good agronomic practices. The national average for similar hybrids is six tons per hectare.   ‘Very proud of our scientists’   Stem borers reduce maize production in several countries in Africa. At the same time, fall armyworms can destroy up to 20 million metric tons of maize in Africa each year, enough to feed 100 million people.   The release and registration of the four varieties followed environmental release approval in October 2021, granted by the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA).   Development of the improved varieties was led by the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) Samaru, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, through the TELA Maize Public-Private Partnership coordinated by AATF. The TELA Maize Project is being implemented in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa.   Prof Ado Yusuf, Executive Director of IAR, expressed satisfaction with releasing the four new maize varieties, saying, ″IAR is very proud of our scientists who are addressing the maize productivity challenges in the country and beyond. These varieties have undergone thorough research and developed using biotechnology tools over several years of continuous testing and revalidation.″   Dr Canisius Kanangire, AATF’s Executive Director, said: ″The release of TELA Maize in Nigeria will contribute to food and nutrition security in line with the Federal Government’s Agricultural Transformation agenda. AATF reaffirms unwavering commitment to addressing challenges farmers face across the continent.″   Reduce the use of pesticides   Professor Garba Sharubutu, the Executive Secretary of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), said the approval of the TELA Maize variety in Nigeria is a critical milestone that confirms the potential of biotechnology in ensuring food and nutrition security and improved livelihood of farming households in Africa.   Prof Mustapha Abdullahi, Director-General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), celebrated the release, saying that, with the advent of TELA Maize, farmers will reduce the use of pesticides on maize to the bare minimum, which is beneficial to humans, livestock, and the environment.   Dr Sylvester Oikeh, the TELA Maize Project Manager, celebrated Nigeria’s decision by calling other African countries to act for farmers. ″I am encouraged by this decision by the Federal Government of Nigeria that reflects their commitment to the needs of farmers. I congratulate the scientists for their hard work and dedication that has seen the product getting closer to farmers. I look forward to other countries making similar decisions for the farmers’ good,″ Dr Oikeh said.   The other partners in the TELA Maize project are national agricultural research institutes in Kenya, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and South Africa; the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and Bayer, with funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).   From Agropages, https://news.agropages.com/News/NewsDetail---48855.htm
2024-02-22 12:02:00 | Categories : Industrial News | Read More

Anvisa opens public consultation on Isopyrazam in Brazil

The Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) has opened a period for public comments on the pesticide Isopyrazam.    This fungicide is the active ingredient in various Syngenta products worldwide, including Rikali and Reflect. The outcome of this public consultation may determine the future of the product registration process in Brazil.   Isopyrazam belongs to the group of SDHIs (succinate dehydrogenase inhibitors), which targets complex II (or succinate dehydrogenase) in the mitochondrial respiratory chain, disrupting the flow of electrons and thus altering cellular respiration. SDHI group fungicides function by blocking a crucial step in fungal respiration provided by succinate dehydrogenase (SDH).   FRENCH ALERT   A team of French researchers argues that SDHI family fungicides are toxic not only to fungi but also to earthworms, bees, and human cells. Pierre Rustin, a researcher at Inserm (National Institute of Health and Medical Research) led the team, which also published a study in the scientific journal Plos One. In the research, they highlight the toxicity of eight SDHI family fungicides (Flutolanil, Fluopyram, Boscalid, Fluxapyroxad, Penflufen, Penthiopyrad, Isopyrazam, and Bixafen).   Those interested in supporting or contesting the market entry of the product can access the suggested draft and the form for consideration through the Anvisa website: http://antigo.anvisa.gov.br/consultas-publicas#/   From Agropages, https://news.agropages.com/News/NewsDetail---48588.htm
2023-12-15 12:12:00 | Categories : Industrial News | Read More

Agrochemical market in Nicaragua faces challenges

The agrochemical market in Nicaragua experienced significant and steady growth until 2018 and 2019, according to market intelligence agency AgbioInvestor. Currently, one of the major issues affecting the country is social and political instability, with tax rises leading to 30% inflation in the price of agrochemicals. As a result of this tax policy, there was a significant reduction in the importation of agrochemicals in 2019.     According to AgbioInvestor, the basic manufacturing and formulation of active ingredients is limited in Nicaragua. ″However, there are many importers and distributors. Initially, local formulation focused on biological products and insecticides, predominantly pyrethroids and organophosphates. More recently, the formulation of herbicides and fungicides has increased,″ analysts said.     The most important local distribution companies include Abrasa, AgriCentre, Agroinsumos del Tropica, Agrovvet Nicarao, Agro Alfa, Ramac, Cisa Agro, Servicio Agrícola Gurdián, Insecticidas San Cristóbal, Bellrod, BioQuim, Cindeco, DuWest, Foragro, Formunica, HanseAndina, Leiman Invest and Profiysa.     Major multinational companies in the country include Bayer, BASF, FMC, Syngenta, Helm and Jebagro. Agrochemical companies in Nicaragua are represented by the Nicaraguan Association of Formulators and Distributors of Agrochemicals (ANIFODA). The market is led by products imported from China, Guatemala, the USA and Costa Rica. However, products from Guatemala and Costa Rica often use active ingredients purchased from China or India, formulated and re-exported from these countries.   Nicaragua Outlook   Agriculture continues to be a fundamental part of Nicaragua's economy, employing 30.6% of the national workforce and representing 15.8% of GDP. "The use of agrochemicals per hectare is high compared to other developing markets, although similar to other Latin American countries, such as Bolivia, Guatemala and Ecuador," said the AgbioInvestor agency. However, Nicaragua has a limited capacity for agrochemical formulation, and intellectual property legislation is overseen by the Registro de la Propiedad Intelectual (RPI).   "Patents and trademarks are granted based on first registration, and patents have a term of 20 years. Trademarks are registered for ten years but can be indefinitely renewed. Illicit trade and copied products have been a longstanding issue in Nicaragua. The country is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization," analysts stated.   From Agropages, https://news.agropages.com/News/NewsDetail---48452.htm
2023-12-08 12:12:00 | Categories : Industrial News | Read More

Rovensa reinforces its position in the United States through the acquisition of Agro-K

Rovensa Group, a global leader of agricultural inputs for sustainable agriculture, announces the acquisition of Agro-K, a leading family-owned biostimulants developer in the United States. Agro-K will be integrated over time into Rovensa Next, the business unit dedicated to biosolutions for agriculture.   Established in 1976 in Minneapolis, Agro-K has been at the forefront of sustainable agriculture through science-based development of an extensive portfolio of biostimulants and specialty nutrition products. The acquisition solidifies Rovensa Next's foothold in the United States, a key strategic growth market, and it brings a high-quality portfolio of complementary solutions and a technical sales team fully dedicated to biostimulation. As the largest biosolutions market globally and the fastest growing biostimulants region, the US plays a crucial role in Rovensa Next's ambitious expansion strategy.    Javier Calleja, Rovensa´s CEO, stated: ″We are extremely pleased to welcome Agro-K into Rovensa. This acquisition is an important strategic step towards achieving our ambition of becoming the leading biosolutions player in the United States, marketing a full spectrum of solutions nationwide. Both businesses are highly complementary and share a common go-to-market approach, the vision of an increasingly sustainable agriculture and the concern for people and society at large, which will contribute towards a swift integration and a successful joint value creation journey.″   Chapman Mayo, Agro-K’s President, added: ″We are very excited about the possibilities that an integration with Rovensa brings to the US marketplace. We strongly believe that the new products, technologies, R&D capabilities, and the global expertise that Rovensa brings will allow Agro-K to better service its customer base and ensure that Agro-K consolidates its position in the biosolutions arena″.    Rovensa was advised by Current Capital Partners, Honigman LLP, Uria Menendez, PwC, Context Network, Bracewell LLP and ERM. Agro-K was advised by B&A Corporate Advisors and Stinson LLP.   The financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.   About Rovensa   Rovensa, a global leader in solutions for a sustainable agriculture, is dedicated to developing, manufacturing, and distributing a broad range of innovative products that empower farmers to cultivate safe, healthy and nutritious food for all.   Dedicated to making a positive impact, our 3,000+ employees work daily towards Rovensa's mission to feed the planet. Supporting farmers in 90 countries with over 45 global R&D centers and laboratories, we champion agricultural innovation to preserve and enhance soil, environmental and human health. Rovensa's products support the agricultural transition toward higher quality, resource-efficient food production.   With the integration of Agro-K, Rovensa’s revenues exceed 800 million euros.   About Agro-K    Founded in 1976, Agro-K has been a pioneer in the scientific development of biostimulants and specialty nutritional products for many important horticultural and field crops. Agro-K products evolve from a comprehensive understanding of plant physiology, nutrient demands, soil science and soil microbiology, all focused towards maximizing plant health and crop quality while minimizing grower inputs and environmental impacts. Its track record of helping growers improve crop quality and yield via nutrient use efficiency, long before the industry recognized its importance, together with the dedication and commitment of its employees, have enabled Agro-K to thrive and advance sustainable agriculture practices in the United States.   From Agropages, https://news.agropages.com/News/NewsDetail---48504.htm
2023-12-06 12:12:00 | Categories : Industrial News | Read More

Indian government bans use of controversial pesticide monocrotophus ahead of SC hearing

Days ahead of a critical Supreme Court (SC) hearing, the Central government has prohibited the use of four insecticides from the initial list of 27. This list includes the controversial monocrotophos but with riders.   Regarding monocrotophos, activists and observers have highlighted that the recent directive provides a one-year transitional period for farmers to adopt alternatives. The order also states that the "sale, distribution or use of Monocrotophos 36 per cent SL shall be allowed only for clearance of existing stock till its expiry period."    The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) flagged concerns over the ambiguity of this phrasing. They fear that this might be exploited to amass stocks during this one-year window, allowing the prolonged use of Monocrotophos until these stocks are exhausted. PAN stressed the necessity of a distinct directive that prohibits the manufacture of all Monocrotophos formulations.   Along with monocrotophos, the three insecticides banned are Dicofol, Dinocap and Methomyl by the government through a Gazette Notification dated 29 th September, 2023, but published on 6 th October, 2023.   However, the mention of carbofuran, one of the original 27 prohibited pesticides, in the recent notice has perplexed activists. A statement from PAN clarified, "All other formulations of Carbofuran, except Carbofuran 3 per cent Encapsulated granule (CG) with specified crop labels, should be discontinued." This implies that the Carbofuran three per cent Encapsulated granule (CG) remains unbanned. Significantly, this Carbofuran 3 per cent CG formulation is the only one registered in India.     PAN India has urged the Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee (CIBRC) to provide clarity on this matter.   Focusing on monocrotophos, PAN noted its association with multiple pesticide poisoning incidents in India, most notoriously the Yavatmal pesticide poisoning event in 2017.    The Maharashtra Association of Pesticide Poisoned Persons (MAPPP) has been persistently advocating for a ban on this and other harmful pesticides linked to fatalities and injuries among farmers and agricultural workers. In fact, the Maharashtra government has written a letter to the Union Government of India to ban this and four other pesticides.   The crux of this matter traces back to a May 2020 government order which banned 27 hazardous pesticides deemed a threat to public health and safety. These pesticides, part of the contentious 66 under scrutiny for toxicity over several years, encompassed 12 insecticides, eight fungicides, and seven herbicides, totalling nearly 130 formulations.   Reportedly, the government allowed the industry a period to voice their objections. Subsequently, at the behest of major industry players, a committee was instituted under the leadership of TP Rajendran, ex-assistant director general of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR). The panel reportedly suggested retaining the prohibition on just three of the 27 pesticides, advocating for the release of the others.   However, certain activists petitioning the Supreme Court argued that the constitution and existence of such a committee remain unverified in the public domain, while others insist on its establishment and the availability of its report.   Following this, the government revisited the original ban in February 2023, maintaining the restriction on only three pesticides. Civil society groups approached the SC questioning the revised order.    From Agropages: https://news.agropages.com/News/NewsDetail---47961.htm
2023-10-12 12:10:00 | Categories : Industrial News | Read More

US EPA opens public comment period on proposal to register novel pesticide technology for potato crops

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to register pesticide products containing the new active ingredient ledprona for three years, a timeframe that is consistent with EPA’s approach to other novel pesticide products.   Ledprona is a new type of pesticide that relies on a natural mechanism--called RNA interference (RNAi)--used by plants and insects to protect against disease. The proposed new biopesticide involves a sprayable double-stranded ribonucleic acid (dsRNA) product that targets the Colorado potato beetle (CPB), a major pest of potato crops grown in the United States, including in the potato-growing states of Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin. The CPB feeds heavily on potato plant foliage. If left uncontrolled, CPB will eat and destroy the leaves of the plant. If this occurs around the time of flowering, the plant may not produce potatoes. The CPB is also known to develop resistance to insecticides rapidly. This sprayable dsRNA product kills the pest by ″silencing″ the CPB gene needed to produce the PSMB5 protein, whose role is essential to keeping the CPB alive, without resulting in a genetically modified organism. If approved by EPA, this RNAi-based pesticide would be the first sprayable dsRNA pesticide in the world allowed to be used commercially and sprayed on plants.   EPA supports advancements in novel pesticide technology, which can offer alternatives to chemical-based pesticides that may pose higher potential risks or have reduced effectiveness because of resistance issues. Registered and recommended conventional active ingredients for foliar use against immature and adult CPB currently include the neonicotinoids (e.g., thiamethoxam), the spinosyns, abamectin, novaluron (an insect growth regulator), the diamides (e.g., cyantraniliprole), and some pre-mixes of these (e.g., abamectin and cyantraniliprole).   Consistent with its obligation to ensure that the product does not pose unreasonable adverse effects on the environment, including that residues of that product are safe for consumption, EPA has conducted a robust evaluation of this novel biotechnology product. EPA’s assessment also includes an Endangered Species Act (ESA) evaluation. In considering the risk for this technology, EPA has also been engaged with international partners and experts in the field via its leadership of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Working Party on Pesticides Ad Hoc Expert Group on RNAi-based Pesticides.   In May 2023, EPA approved an experimental use permit (EUP) under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) for testing in 10 states (Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Virginia, Wisconsin, Washington). The EUP required the permittee to immediately notify EPA of any findings from the experimental uses that have a bearing on safety. No such findings have been reported to EPA thus far. Data generated from the EUP testing on product efficacy and application methods may be used in a future application for this product to amend its directions for use.   In addition to the proposal to limit the duration of this registration to three years in order to receive and assess any data from the EUP testing, EPA is proposing to require the same personal protective equipment as required under the EUP, including long-sleeved shirt, long pants, socks, shoes, protective eyewear, and a particulate filtering respirator.   To read more about the proposed registration of ledprona and to comment, see docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2021-0271 at https://www.regulations.gov/docket/EPA-HQ-OPP-2021-0271. The public comment period will be open for 15 days, closing on Friday, October 13th, 2023.
2023-10-02 12:10:00 | Categories : Industrial News | Read More

US Court asked to stop EPA from canceling chlorpyrifos products

By DON JENKINS Capital Press A pesticide maker and farm groups have asked the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to make the Environmental Protection Agency wait to see whether its ban on chlorpyrifos holds up before canceling products containing the chemical. EPA appears poised to cancel labels for three chlorpyrifos products registered for use on food crops by Gharda Chemicals International, even though the circuit court has yet to rule on the ban’s legality. If the EPA cancels the labels and the court later overturns the ban, reregistering products will cost more than $1 million and take three years, hurting Gharda and farmers, according to Gharda and the producer groups. The EPA has yet to respond to the motion, but has previously rejected requests to wait for a court ruling. The EPA late last month indicated it wanted to revoke Gharda’s labels soon, arguing canceling the labels was the next local step to enacting a ban. Chlorpyrifos has been widely employed in food and non-food uses since 1965. Anti-pesticide groups petitioned the EPA in 2007 to prohibit chlorpyrifos, alleging that even small amounts of residue on food damaged the brains of infants and unborn children. The Biden EPA, under pressure from an impatient 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on the West Coast, finally banned chlorpyrifos under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in 2022. Gharda, the American Farm Bureau, National Association of Wheat Growers and 17 other farm groups sued in the Midwest’s 8th Circuit Court to overturn the ban. The court heard oral arguments last December, but has yet to rule. Commercial farmers have been barred from applying chlorpyrifos for two growing seasons. Farm groups maintain that chlorpyrifos is still an important pesticide to confront a wide spectrum of pests. Gharda and producer groups are seeking to reinstate the EPA’s finding during the Trump administration that chlorpyrifos could be used safely on 11 crops in select geographic regions. The crops included apples in Washington, sugar beets in Idaho and strawberries in Oregon. Gharda invested in manufacturing chlorpyrifos as other companies voluntarily withdrew chlorpyrifos products. Gharda has stockpiles in India ready for U.S. distribution and a ban would be catastrophic to the company, according to a court declaration by Gharda President Ram Seethapathi.   From Agropages: https://news.agropages.com/News/NewsDetail---47759.htm
2023-09-21 12:09:00 | Categories : Industrial News | Read More

US EPA registers new active ingredient fluazaindolizine

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is registering fluazaindolizine, a new pesticide active ingredient for agricultural use. Fluazaindolizine can be used to control nematodes (also known as roundworms) on vegetables such as carrots, squash, tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes and taro, and on some fruits, including oranges, peaches, almonds, and grapes. EPA expects fluazaindolizine will help delay the further development of nematicide resistance. Nematode pests are important to control because they can cause damage to the quality and quantity of crops. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)(PDF), nematodes are estimated to cause at least $10 billion in crop damage annually in the United States. In addition to the registration decision, EPA has finalized the biological evaluation for fluazaindolizine under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This action furthers the goals outlined in EPA’s April 2022 ESA Workplan (PDF) by identifying potential effects to listed species, implementing necessary mitigation, and initiating the ESA consultation process with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prior to registration. EPA’s Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessments Prior to this registration decision, EPA assessed whether exposures to these products would cause unreasonable adverse effects to human health and the environment, as required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Based on EPA’s human health risk assessment, there are no human health risk concerns from the uses of fluazaindolizine. However, EPA’s ecological risk assessment identified risks of concern for mammals and honeybees near use sites. These risks will be mitigated with measures such as soil incorporation (mixing the pesticide into the soil) and restrictions that limit pesticide spray drift. EPA’s Final ESA Biological Evaluation The Agency evaluated the effects of the registration on listed species and critical habitats. EPA’s final effects determination found that fluazaindolizine is likely to adversely affect (LAA) 18 listed species and three critical habitats. An LAA determination means that EPA reasonably expects that at least one individual animal or plant, among a variety of listed species, may be exposed to fluazaindolizine at a sufficient level to have an adverse effect. This is the case even if a listed species is almost recovered to a point where it may no longer need to be listed. The likely ″take,″ which includes unintentional harm or death, of even one individual of a listed species, is enough to trigger such a determination. As a result, there are often a high number of LAA determinations. An LAA determination, however, does not necessarily mean that a pesticide is putting a species in jeopardy. EPA further refined its analysis for the species and critical habitats where it made LAA determinations to predict the likelihood that fluazaindolizine use could lead to a future jeopardy finding for certain listed species or adverse modification finding for critical habitats. These predictions examine effects of fluazaindolizine at the species scale (as opposed to one individual of a species). EPA’s draft biological evaluation predicted that, without additional mitigation, the proposed uses of fluazaindolizine would present a likelihood of jeopardy for one listed plant species, the Kern Mallow. EPA predicted no likelihood of adverse modification to critical habitats. Given EPA’s initial prediction for the Kern Mallow plant, EPA developed geographically specific pesticide use limitations. In areas within the four counties in southern California where Kern Mallow is known to occur, users cannot use micro-sprinklers to apply the pesticide on non-bearing orchard crops. This includes citrus trees (e.g., oranges, lemons, limes), stone fruit trees (e.g., peaches, plums, apricots), and nut trees (e.g., hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts) that are not yet bearing fruit or nuts. As directed on the label, users must check the Bulletins Live Two! website to identify whether these restrictions apply to their geographic area. With these mitigations in place, EPA’s final biological evaluation predicts the use of fluazaindolizine will not present a likelihood of jeopardy to the Kern Mallow. Next Steps Since EPA’s final biological evaluation found that fluazaindolizine is likely to adversely affect some listed species and critical habitats under the jurisdiction of the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), EPA has initiated formal consultation and shared its findings with FWS. During formal consultation, FWS uses the information in EPA’s final biological evaluation (i.e., the final effects determination, predictions of the likelihood of jeopardy/adverse modification, and EPA’s mitigations to avoid jeopardy and minimize take) to inform their biological opinions. While EPA has made predictions about the likelihood of jeopardy and adverse modification as part of its biological evaluation, FWS is responsible for making the final jeopardy/adverse modification findings and have the sole authority to do so. If FWS determines in its final biological opinions that additional mitigations are necessary to address any jeopardy or adverse modification determination or to address any incidental take, then EPA will work with the registrant to ensure that any necessary registration or labeling changes are made. The registration decision and final biological evaluation are available in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2020-0065 at www.regulations.gov.   From Agropages:https://news.agropages.com/News/NewsDetail---47729.htm
2023-09-15 11:09:31 | Categories : Industrial News | Read More