We are facing enormous challenges in our environment with the planet struggling to support our growing population as its resources continue depleting. Sustainability, in its many forms is the only way forward and doing “more with less” is imperative.
As with every facet of our lives in recent years, agriculture will also embrace big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning in order to help boost crop yields sustainably. At the same time, growers are seeking new production practises that will allow them to farm more efficiently whilst also protecting their natural environments.
As demand increases for biological tools and the ability to pair them with sophisticated data-driven support tools that can help inform agronomic practices, the development of new and innovative solutions is the priority. These are two areas in which FA Bio is developing superior solutions. Its commercialised SporSenZ technology captures active and dominant microbes from agricultural soils and its unique library of superior microbial active ingredients have the potential to be developed into targeted bioproducts.
As an independent director to FA Bio, my role is to add value by utilising my experience and giving an alternative perspective to important company decisions. As with any start-up working in a highly competitive and fast paced environment, FA Bio want to ensure it remains aware of all opportunities around fund raising, partnerships and operations, and agile enough to act on them when there is potential to enhance the success of its future product-line.
When I was first met the two fantastic female founders of FA Bio, Angela and Kerry, I was immediately struck and impressed with their professionalism, ambition and passion for the company. I loved the technology they were developing and was excited for the opportunity to work with such great leaders bringing something novel and valuable to the world of sustainable agriculture.
Where it all started
Having grown up in South London, England, I was not as privileged as many of the colleagues I have worked with who had been in contact with agriculture from a young age. So, whilst I cannot claim to have an “agriculture” background, as I finished university, I was given the opportunity to join a major agricultural industry company and jumped at the chance. Not really knowing what was in store for me, I was excited by the opportunity to travel across the world and experience different cultures as well as learning about their specific challenges. Having had direct involvement in the development of new technologies that have made people’s lives better and met a broad scope of professionals involved in farming means that I have never ever regretted my choice to take the leap into agriculture.
It has been a huge privilege to work on some great projects throughout my career, leading to true innovation in the fields of chemical crop protection, high yielding seed varieties, biologicals and innovative fertilizer products. However, my biggest sense of accomplishment and satisfaction comes from mentoring and supporting the current generation of research scientists and entrepreneurs who are making the next set of innovations a reality.
The next generation
In my opinion, FA Bio has the capabilities and tools to find truly novel microbes that will support the next generation of sustainable agriculture and its approach will accelerate discovery, pulling them ahead of the competition. I am proud to be working with such an innovative and diverse company creating a rich pipeline of biologicals that have real potential to replace current chemical alternatives whilst driving value for growers globally.