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Novozymes enters biocontrol sector

Enzymes giant Novozymes has revealed that it is diversifying into biocontrol in agriculture. The company said that it sees this emerging sector as having huge growth potential, as pests continue to cause billions of dollars in damage to crops every year while pressure is continuing to restrict the use of chemical pesticides.

As part of this drive, Novozymes has announced a strategic collaboration with FMC. It will be the manufacturing partner and FMC the commercial partner in the development of combination products based on enzymes and FMC’s diamide insecticide technology. The initial target is to combat Asian soybean rust, a fungal disease that is widespread in South America.

This co-operation will form part of a broader biocontrol technology platform, the company said. It added that it sees “a potential of enzymes to control numerous microbial and insect pests effectively” and has recently stepped up its investment in this field. The biocontrol market is already growing at over 10%/year, albeit from a low base, and this is expected to continue.

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