The exhaustive analysis of soil microbiota using Artificial Intelligence will allow to develop a new generation of customized probiotics, capable of restoring the life of agricultural soils, increasing their fertility.
Almería, 26 of January 2023_ This alliance between Kimitec’ s MAAVi Innovation Center, Europe’s largest hub focused on biotechnology innovation, with 15 years of experience in researching natural sources for the agricultural and the food industry sectors, and Biome Makers, a global leader in the AgTech sector that focuses on the analysis of soil biology and microbiology from their headquarters in Davis, California, will allow Kimitec to increase their knowledge on the composition and behavior of soil microbiota, and develop a new generation of probiotics adapted to the specific needs of any crop and region.
“Currently, all agricultural soils seem to be affected by microbial imbalances. This strategic alliance aims to acquire knowledge and data to restore that balance and induce a real change in agriculture”, comments Félix García, CEO of Kimitec.
The alliance, which has just been announced publicly to a global audience, is set to revolutionize the market of customized, biotechnology-based solutions for natural agriculture, which represent a major leap in terms of real sustainability, productivity, and profitability for the growers, and have a direct impact on the environment.
The Importance of A Living Soil
Up to 95% of global food production depends on soil quality. However, non-sustainable agricultural practices such as the indiscriminate use of plant protection products, the elevated transformation of soils, and other strategies such as monocropping have led to microbiological imbalances in soils and, consequently, to a reduced productivity. Experts estimate that the loss of agricultural land may lead to a 10% reduction in crop yield by 2050, such as the FAO pointed out in the latest edition of their report “The state of the world’s land and water resources for food and agriculture”.
Soils are full of life, and they are said to contain up to 25% of the world’s biodiversity in the form of numerous microorganisms that help keep soils balanced and productive. But strangely, this biodiversity has so far remained hidden. Up to this day, only about 1% of soil microorganisms have been discovered, while the rest remain unknown, as does their spectrum of activity in agricultural ecosystems. Thus, the research potential in this field, as well as regarding the use of microorganisms for the improvement of soil fertility is still huge.
“The soil is the basis of agricultural production. And understanding all its biological processes as well as the nature and richness of the life within is key to make the right decisions”, says Adrián Ferrero, CEO of Biome Makers.
Understanding The Importance of Microbial Life in The Soil
The strategic alliance between Biome Makers and Kimitec’ s MAAVi Innovation Center will contribute to a better understanding of microbial life within the soils. Soil microbiota will be analyzed, using Biome Makers’ patented and proprietary BeCrop® technology, aiming to increase soil fertility and improve the productivity and nutritional properties of different crops, while reducing the loss of arable lands and enhancing crop resilience to climate change with a new generation of targeted probiotics based on a multi-factor approach (crop, climate, location and timing), considering that, for example, the characteristics of a sandy soil in a tomato crop from Agadir are radically different from those of a much heavier soil in Sinaloa or California.
Additionally, both companies will focus on the discovery of new behavioral patterns and relationships between microorganisms, which may help to restore the life of agricultural soils. As it is the case of queen bees in their beehives, it has already been proven that some microorganisms (called Keystone taxa) can control the behavior of the entire microbiological system in a specific soil. And today, we know that soil degradation can lead to a complete eradication of these important microorganisms, breaking the entire microbiological ecosystem in that soil and causing a decrease in crop productivity, which in turn accelerates soil degradation even more.
This pioneering alliance will allow to boost the acquisition of knowledge in the “Discovery” area of LINNA, the Artificial Intelligence platform used by Kimitec’ s MAAVi Innovation Center, with the data provided by the identification system of soil microorganisms Be Crop®, developed by Biome Makers. Both companies will be promoting the discovery of new soil microorganisms, new related uses, and still unknown behavioral patterns; in short, data from which both systems will feed, adjusting automatically.
Large producers having signed an ongoing MAAVi Lab with Kimitec will be among the first to benefit from the results of this alliance, since they will see how it directly impacts the productivity of their crops.
These MAAVi Labs make the MAAVi Innovation Center available to large producers of numerous crops, such as tomato, garlic, lettuce, melon, and citrus fruits, for the research and development of customized solutions against current and future challenges facing the agricultural industry. Internationally renowned companies, such as Frutas Bollo, Peregrin, Agroponiente or Cooperativa La Palma have already chosen this path towards a more natural, sustainable and profitable food production model, conceived by this Spanish biotechnology company.
The use of these technologies, following a collaborative open innovation strategy, will be key to meet the challenge of feeding an increasingly growing world population in a planet severely affected by climate change.
About Biome Makers
Founded in California’s Silicon Valley in 2015, Biome Makers is one of the main world leaders in the AgTech sector, and has managed to establish a global standard in soil health with their BeCrop® technology. Based on their experience in the AgTech sector and supported by the data they acquire and the science behind them, Biome Makers connects soil biology with agricultural decision-making, aiming to optimize agricultural practices and revert the degradation of arable lands. With research centers located all over the world, clients in 4 continents and over one million acres of land affected, Biome Makers focuses on revitalizing soil functionality and agricultural sustainability worldwide.