Updated: Jan 7
Climate change is impacting 70% of agriculture, proving especially difficult for small holder farmers with fragmented land holdings. The yield gap, difference between possible yields and realized yields is the key challenge. During stress the very process that plant uses to assimilate nutrients, photosynthesize, or use the stored food for growth get affected and function at an efficiency as low as 41%.
Bioprime Agrisolutions Pvt Ltd, based at Pune, is an Agribiotech startup founded by three researchers with the goal to offer relief to farmers worldwide, struggling with impact of climate change- crop loss, temperature fluctuations and drought. Bioprime achieves this by developing effective & affordable next generation Ag biologicals.
The Technology Platform:
4 years of intensive research and development has led to our flagship platform technology platform SNIPR (Smart Nanomolecules Induced Response Modulation) that allows development of biologicals based on specific small molecules that modulate plant physiological response. The product development based on SNIPR platform relies on understanding underlying processes central to the problem being investigated. The products/leads that are developed are markedly different from the current solutions available and are more holistic and robust. Therefore SNIPR has the ability to radically improve upon current products and generate completely novel products in a more time efficient and cost efficient way.
SNIPR is a patented technology supported by Birac, DBT and Niti Ayog. The technology has won several national and international awards like- Ignite, Future Food Asia top 10, Winner Award, Atal New India Challenge to name a few.
Why choose SNIPR Biologicals?
As these biologicals are use specific combinations of biomolecules, Bioprime is able to target and modulate multiple pathways precisely. This means that we are able to deliver 2 X faster and tangible results on filed even in the most adverse conditions. Being able to target critical pathways means we can deliver assured growth that translates into assured yields even in low light, low temperature conditions or reduce crop losses and mitigate heat and drought stress.
SNIPR biologicals are targeted, rapid acting, crop agnostic and can be used by any farmers on as is where is basis irrespective of their farmland size making it an ideal alternative to imported biologicals. Since these biomolecules are compatible with all types of farming- chemicals, IMP, residue free or organic this will disrupt the new era of sustainable agriculture.
The first generation of products have reached early commercialization stage. 5 products have been launched in parts of UP, Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telegana and Andhra Pradesh in the liquid and granular format. The products have received encouraging response and have been adopted by over 15000 farmers in crops like rice, wheat, mustard, beans, tomatoes, chili, sugarcane, pomegranates and grapes. Extensive multi location validations are in progress with Agriculture universities and Institutes in various crops
The second generation of products are at early validation stage and are expected to reach field validation stage towards the end of next year.
2016 in Narayangaon, Maharashtra- Maharashtra witnessed a 50 year high temperature peaks in the summer of 2016. These unfortunately coincided with the flowering and fruiting period in the largest tomato belt of the country leading to almost total crop loss. This was the time when the biologicals were first being tested on the field with a small number of progressive farmers. The plants showed wonderful results, lush green foliage where neighboring farms were scorching in the sun. The farmers would stop by to see the plots and examine why these fields looked so different from theirs. All our farmers harvested 15-20% more tomatoes.
2018 UP – The first demos outside Maharashtra were initiated in UP in rice. Rice faces a peculiar problem- farmers sow the nursery at specific time points as they have been for years in the past. What changing weather patterns means is that these old cues rooted in traditional understanding do not hold true. Rains get delayed and nursery gets older and transplantation delayed. This impact yield directly. Here our aim was to mitigate the shock and promote early establishment of the plants. Rice farmers were able to record increase in grains per tiller and increased weight per grain, leading to 15- 20% increase in yield.
2019 UP- Some years farmers face shortage of water and some years there is excess. 2019 was marked with excess rainfall and water lodging. Water lodging is disastrous and can wipe off fields. Farmers that could use our biologicals in 4-5 days within the water lodging were able to reduce the crop loss by 60%. Farmers in UP and Bihar were able to recover crops like tomatoes, chili, tobacco and in Maharashtra crops like ginger and turmeric.
After careful consideration Bioprime has adopted a two pronged approach that allows us to capitalise our strength and expertise in research. For existing products, we work with strategic go to market partners, whom the farmers know and trust. This helps us take this technology to the fragmented small holder farmers rapidly. We also work on a co-development approach where we partner very early on in the development cycle to specific solutions. The team has a strong research and development background and expertise in various domains which helps joint development and rapid advancement of technology. The products then are marketed through the partners distribution channel.
Bioprime was founded by Dr Renuka Karandikar, whose passion for agriculture stems from her childhood days spent tagging along with her grandmother, who oversaw all the farming operations on their small farm. A passion that never went away even while she studied and completed her PhD in Biotechnology and Post Doc in genetic engineering and publishing several international papers. Familiarising with the latest and the best technology in plant sciences only made the stark contrast of lack of technology at farm level more apparent. Appalled by the lack of resources and inability to embrace technology, she decided to take up this challenge and develop something that can change lives for farmers on as is where is basis and irrespective of farmland size. The small spark that was ignited was fuelled by backing of BIRAC, Department of Biotechnology, Start up India it was possible to transform this dream to reality. Her dream is where farmers no longer feel that good harvests are a gamble, but can have assurance of successful harvests- every time!