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With the support of the essenscia’s Innovation Fund, the start-up Fyteko is developing revolutionary new biobased active ingredients to guarantee good harvest yields, even in extremely dry conditions.

Through the use of Green Chemistry, Fyteko has developed a Signal Molecule which improves plants’ tolerance to water scarcity in a natural way. In regions with limited rain or suffering from important heat waves, farmers can still achieve good yields thanks to this innovation. The product is available for seed treatment (Nurseed), for irrigation system (Nursoil) or in spray form (Nurspray) to apply directly onto the crops. Fyteko’s technology is to stimulate, thanks to the use of a novel Signal Molecule, important osmolytes (e.g. Proline) and antioxydants (e.g. increase in SOD, APX enzymes activity) that the plants naturally accumulate during hydric stress. This internal pre-activation triggers off the plant’s capacity to resist better, respond faster and to recover more quickly and efficiently after a stress – even if the plant withers, it can recover better as soon as it rains.

Over a full crop cycle, use of the Nurspray technology can be measured by substantial final yield gains (over the past two years of field trials, up to 50% yield increase compared to untreated plants has been reached in particular abiotic stress conditions and in average gains of over 10% have been measured under “mild abiotic” stress conditions).

So far, Fyteko has mostly tested its innovations on row crops (soybeans, corn, wheat,…) as these are the most important crops feeding the world and are usually not irrigated (therefore more impacted by drought and heat waves). The company’s core value is really to make an impact using its sustainable technology where it matters the most, reason of the geographical focus on regions that are the most impacted by climate change or food security issues. But in Europe too, Fyteko will be able to play an important role providing novel sustainable solutions or even countering the adverse climate we faced the last two years.

The products were successfully registered in Belgium in 2017-2018 and Fyteko is currently working with its distribution partners to transfer this registration and get regulatory approval in different countries. Today, products are being market introduced in Latin-America and Africa for the upcoming crop season.