LONDON: Plant Health Care (AIM: PHC.L), a leading provider of novel patent-protected biological products to global agriculture markets, announced plans to commence commercial sales in two new and significant markets with the appointment of Ager Agro SAS as a distributor of Plant Health Care’s Harpin αβ product, ProAct, in Argentina and Uruguay.
Harpin αβ works by triggering the plant’s own self defense systems, in a manner similar to vaccinations in humans, with crops responding with improved quality, nutrient use efficiency, tolerance to abiotic stress and ultimately, increased yield. Being a biological product, Harpin αβ has a very favorable human and environmental safety profile.
Evaluated over four crop seasons in Argentina, the application of ProAct as a soybean seed treatment resulted in measurably healthier, more robust plants and increased yield by almost 5% in early season soybeans subjected to stress from drought or heat.
Ager is a rapidly growing, multi-national distributor, with a particular focus on sustainably improving food quality and productivity across Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. In Argentina, Ager supplied product to some 10 million total treated hectares of crops in 2021. Today’s appointment of Ager demonstrates the commercial appetite for ProAct in South America and significantly expands Plant Health Care’s market access with leading partners across the region. Ager will commence sales of ProAct for soybean in Argentina during the third quarter of 2022 and is targeting 350k hectares of soybeans and 150k hectares of wheat within five years; this would generate in excess of $0.75m sales for Plant Health Care.
Argentina is the world’s third largest producer of soybeans (after Brazil and the USA). More than 16 million hectares were planted in 2021. Furthermore, farmers are under increasing pressure to move to more environmentally and biologically friendly products to improve the sustainability of production.
Chris Richards, CEO of Plant Health Care said, ‟Global sales of Harpin αβ grew by 55% in 2021, as more farmers recognize the value of the product. Commencing commercial sales in Argentina will materially support continued strong revenue growth. Argentine growers are sophisticated and operate on a large scale; they are increasingly adopting more sustainable approaches. Ager has demonstrated its commitment to sustainable agriculture and its ability to commercialise biological products at scale. ProAct makes a strong addition to their impressive portfolio. Plant Health Care and Ager Agro share a similar vision for how products like ProAct can help growers maximize their productivity in an environmentally sustainable manner and we are therefore delighted to be working alongside them.”
Julian Etchegoyen, CEO of AGER AGRO said, “We are innovative technology providers for Latin America farmers. Our Commitment is to continue adding value in a sustainable way, convinced that the future of agriculture will have a high rate of adoption of biological products. In line with this, our strategic alliance with Plant Health Care allows us to offer in Argentina and Uruguay a valuable technology based on Harpin αβ protein, which generates a proven increase in crop yield of around 5%. We are very excited about this alliance and we have no doubt that ProAct will be an important player in this growing market.”