Protecting our global food security

Dr Kerry O'Donnelly Weaver

It is a well-known fact that as a planet, we need to grow more food. Yet we have less resources to do so, with less fertile land, water shortages and constantly declining yields. The challenge of finding new and innovative ways to secure food for our growing populations is what triggered my passion and motivation for improving agricultural processes.


Increasing agricultural yields is key to ensuring food security for all, but it’s also crucial we find a way to do this in a more sustainable way. The negative impact of agricultural processes causes harm to our wildlife, accelerates loss of biodiversity, depletes our natural resources, creates dead zones in our seas and rivers and contributes to high carbon footprints and weaker carbon removal capacities. At FA Bio, we are focusing on tackling and improving these very real-world problems by providing sustainable bioproducts that can reduce the use of chemical products within the industry.


I co-founded FA Bio (previously FungiAlert) with Angela de Manzanos Guinot in 2015 to focus our scientific expertise on finding sustainable solutions for agricultural problems. We are using science to help solve some of the world’s most important challenges, finding solutions to feed a growing population in a sustainable and ethical way. 


The use of microorganisms as bioproducts is a well-established market, however, its growth is limited by the need to discover the right microbes for the right applications and environments, that can consistently perform in the field. We already know there are trillions of microbes on our planet, but to date scientists have only discovered <0.001% of them. We believe there is a clear opportunity for innovation within the microbial discovery space, to untap the potential of our planet’s natural resources.


At FA Bio we are reinventing how microbes are discovered. Combining our proprietary SporSenZ sampling technology with a targeted sampling approach means that we can study active soil microbial communities in any given ecosystem. This enables us to discover superior bioproducts that have the potential to solve some of the world’s biggest agricultural problems. We are discovering microbes that can improve phosphate and potassium uptake by plants, improve soil’s carbon storage capacity and fight off economically devastating crop diseases.


I, and the team at FA Bio, am passionate about revolutionising the microbial discovery and development pathway and our research could ensure consistent and superior bioproducts reach the market faster. Our novel technology and scientific expertise mean we can continually discover new bioproducts and provide sustainable solutions to plant disease, yield decline and infertile soil due to poor soil health. 


The use and adoption of sustainable ‘bio’ alternatives to chemical pesticides and fertilisers will not only reduce the impact of chemicals within our food chain but will also increase crop yields. Providing a solution to the challenge of global food security by feeding our growing population sustainably, ensuring the protection of natural ecosystems that we rely on to continue to grow our food.


At FA Bio, we are continually witnessing growers from all over the world embracing scientific innovations within agriculture but not only does this need to continue, innovations need to be adopted faster. To support this, I believe we need to see improvements to the regulatory hurdles that these products currently face, as well as more financial support from governments, to reward growers for adopting growing practices that promote soil health and biodiversity, whilst reducing their use of chemicals.


So, as we continue discovering and analysing the vast benefits of microbes on the growth of our world’s crops, which are essential to every life process, we want you to join us on our journey to revolutionise sustainable agriculture and ensure global food security.


Dr Kerry O’Donnelly Weaver, COO and Co-Founder of FA Bio (previously FungiAlert)

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