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Michael Dautner
February 25, 2020

Sugar’s Bacteria Could Point the Way to a More Efficient Produce Industry

SUgar-1When Geneticist Paulo Arruda was mapping the microbiome of sugarcane, he realized; that some of the bacteria were much more abundant than the others. He started his research along with his fellows, to see if these bacteria were aiding the growth of sugarcane, and if they were, can they be harnessed to increase the growing speed of other crops?

The human population is increasing day by day and plant is the basic source of food, directly or indirectly for humans and animals. The biggest challenge in agriculture sector is to produce and grow enough to keep up with the population. Not just that, the agriculture sector wants to go green, i.e. Produce everything by using fewer toxic chemicals and pesticides. There is also a shortage of water in certain areas, therefore, the agriculture sector aims to produce plants that require less water. Furthermore, these challenges are colossal and aren’t easy to deal with, but by researching the technologies, as mentioned earlier, we can speed up the process and start growing plants at a much faster pace.

Arruda and his team decided not to waste any more time and start both the field and the lab tests, the crop of choice was corn. They decided to produce three different groups of corn, one with the abundant microorganisms that were facilitating the growth in sugarcane, one with the microorganisms that weren’t as efficient as the former one and the last group of corn with no such microorganisms. The results came better than the expectations. The group with abundant microorganisms showed a much faster growing rate, and also had three times the biomass as compared to the standard one. Not only that, the corn with accelerating microorganisms was more resilient to the drought conditions, meaning it could technically be grown in the areas with less available water. These microorganisms showed the real potential. In town of Luís Eduardo Magalhães, in Bahia, a town known for long periods without rain, these microorganisms helped plants with an illness, that reduces the production of ears of corn.

This technology will help the farmers of small and medium sized operations to produce more and better crops and in turn create a much stronger food security. In order to better implement this technology, produce ERP could be used. Like every other technology, Produce ERP can help with the better and the seamless transition from one technology to another. If we are able to scale this technology, the growers, who particularly face tough conditions for agriculture, can get benefitted from this technology; they can produce crops with much more ease. This technology can help with food security and food chain. Implementing the produce ERP will make the process of implementing and scaling this technology much easier.

The technology can get a big push if partnerships within the industry are built and this technology is scaled, so everyone can be benefitted from this. The tests proved that it could work on a much larger scale and have an impact on the agriculture sector, if dealt in a proper manner.

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