The future of sustainable agriculture: environmentally friendly bio-based solutions

The Center for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (CBGP) of the UPM and Tradecorp have launched the joint research unit "Biological Solutions for Sustainable Agriculture".


The Center for Biotechnology and Plant Genomics (CBGP, UPM-INIA/CSIC) and Tradecorp come together to present the Biological Solutions for Sustainable Agriculture research unit, which was born to develop biologically based products and solutions to promote a more sustainable agriculture globally.


World Environment Day, next June 5, is a remarkable date set to analyse and put in common solutions to the climate challenges facing our planet, among which sustainable and healthy agricultural production stands out to supply food demand at the global level. In this context, organizations such as FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) already show in their foresights that, in order to feed a world population of 9,100 million people in 2050, it will be necessary to increase food production by 70%.

In addition to these figures, we face a current crisis in raw materials, with a shortage of chemical-based inputs that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine (the Europe’s barn) has aggravated, drawing attention to the current scenario in which the human population finds itself constantly growing and needs new alternatives that do not have a negative climate impact on the environment. This is an scenario that opens new paths to biostimulation, as an alternative to help farmers to increase food production promoting self-sufficiency, which will reduce dependency on third countries and meeting the sustainability objectives established in the 2030 Agenda.

With the aim to respond to this situation and develop biologically based products and solutions for a more sustainable agriculture worldwide arises Biological Solutions for Sustainable Agriculture, the joint research unit launched by Tradecorp, a global company expert in biostimulation and nutrition development of crops, in collaboration with the Centre for Biotechnology and Plant Genomics (CBGP), a joint centre between the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) and the National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology (INIA/CSIC), which is a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence.

This alliance will work as an innovation accelerator, expanding the ecosystem of action in the field of biostimulants, promoting research, generating knowledge and developing product solutions.

In this context, Biological Solutions for Sustainable Agriculture aims to offer solutions to the challenges set out in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is aligned with the European Farm to Fork strategy, which involves most of the objectives defined in the European Green Deal. These pillars "make up the European drive for this new sustainability strategy, which is an opportunity for the CBGP and Tradecorp to respond and contribute to achieving these objectives," says Antonio Molina, director of the CBGP (UPM, INIA/CSIC).

The commitment of the companies in the sector is fundamental. On this issue, José Nolasco, Strategy & Innovation director of Tradecorp, explained during the presentation of the project: "From the bionutrition unit of Tradecorp and Rovensa, our mission is to feed the planet through healthy and safe solutions, and therefore we work promoting sustainable agriculture, contributing to solving global challenges such as overpopulation, climate change and the preservation of the environment”.

Spain is a benchmark in research in the area of agriculture and plant biotechnology and is considered one of the leading powers in the rankings of scientific publications worldwide. About this, Andrés Arévalo, regional director at Tradecorp Iberia states that "we have an innovative and responsible agricultural business sector, which is committed to a paradigm shift in agricultural production and wants to promote sustainability and leadership in the development of new biological solutions”. He highlights the case of "Tradecorp and the Rovensa group, which by leading projects such as Biological Solutions For Sustainable Agriculture, could be supported by institutions so that the country can lead this sustainable transformation of agricultural production internationally."

For the CBGP (UPM, INIA/CSIC), the alliance with Tradecorp "represents a boost in the development of new technologies and products that derive from the R&D activity of the CBGP groups", declared Antonio Molina, director of the CBGP.

In what refers to Tradecorp, “it will provide its extensive experience in testing the efficacy of products and new technologies in real conditions of agricultural production, and in the formulation and industrial production of high-efficiency biostimulants," says José Nolasco. Currently, biostimulants have become the sector's great development bet, "as experts in biostimulation and sustainable nutrition of crops, the first projects will focus on biomolecules and microorganisms as new solutions, which are characterized by being safe and sustainable and have shown that they are helping to reduce the use of chemical-based inputs, waste in the soil and in the environment, and that they are allowing the sustainable production of healthier, quality food," add José Nolasco.

The research unit is located at the CBGP (UPM, INIA/CSIC) facilities, a center of Excellence that belongs to the network of Severo Ochoa Centers of Excellence and María de Maeztu Units (SOMMa). The CBGP is internationally positioned as one of the most advanced European reference centers of excellence in the area of agriculture and plant biotechnology.

The CBGP (UPM, INIA/CSIC) has consolidated experience and success stories in the development of agrobiological solutions in cooperation with other companies or through the creation of its spin-off companies. In fact, "the knowledge of the center on the molecular mechanisms of plant nutrition, adaptation of crops to environmental conditions and the interaction of plants with microorganisms (microbiota) have progressed remarkably in the last decade and this knowledge can now be transferred to agricultural production with new products and technologies, which is our objective with this initiative with Tradecorp”, concluded Antonio Molina.



Presentation event pictures