Swansea business boss plans to help India boost food production – naturally…

P 1- Spodoptera infected with Paecilomyces Swansea entrepreneur Dr Minshad Ansari is one of a team of Welsh innovators flying out to India this week to promote the principality’s world leading industries. Dr Ansari heads award winning biochemical business Bionema and is set to help maximise food crop yields across India using natural pest protection.

The Welsh based spin-out company from Swansea University is looking to build links across the country with its science based services for agriculture and is joining a trade mission to Mumbai, organised by the ‘Boost Wales’ initiative, and is part of the Welsh Government’s ‘Taking Wales to the World’ programme.

He will be promoting Bionema’s innovative three pronged programme of crop protection measures, a unique package of services to growers and farmers, biochemical and agrochemical industries, which could significantly help the country to meet its future needs.

The company is focusing on an integrated approach to development, product verification and, most significantly, knowledge transfer in the use of biopesticides and agrochemicals.

“Our work is not just about increasing yields, important as that is,” said Dr Ansari. “We have already established training programmes which can save lives”.
“The use of proper protective equipment to apply plant protection products – including biopesticides – safety checks and established procedures can all help prevent the deaths of farmers and workers, working protocols which are incorporated in integrated pest control strategy,” he said.

And the company is looking to establish partnerships with the Indian government, local NGOs, agrochemical and biological industries to help promote the use of natural controls – biopesticides with a package that also includes the use of its Good Experimental Practice (GEP) facilities, for product efficacy, and external product verification through independent certification.

This is the second overseas development opportunity for the Swansea company over the last two months. Dr Ansari and Malaysian regional development director, Issace John, want to establish a network to educate the industries involved in Agri Business in the ECERDC region in Malaysia, through technology transfer, with training courses in Malaysia for technical managers, agronomists, NGOs and farmers.