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Agtech and Sustainable Agriculture: Booming Investment in the Midst of Pandemic


Point Roberts, WA and Delta, BC - April 6, 2020 ( Newswire), a leading investor news resource releases a sustainable agriculture snapshot featuring Vancouver-based Clean Seed Capital Group Ltd. (TSX-V: CSX).

The sustainable agriculture and agtech sectors are seeing an influx of investment and support in the face of the coronavirus pandemic as the future of food supplies and how we grow food is being scrutinized.

According to an article in TechAccel, Stunning growth in Ag Biotech Market investments, "Two years ago, we shared a map of the Ag Biotech Market that showed 245 startups working in plant and animal biotechnology. Since that original map, we've continued to track the market and, this year found a stunning doubling of investment dollars - $6.9 billion across 385 companies, compared to $3.4 billion in 245 companies in 2017. This investment is robust, despite the protracted negative agricultural cycle and massive impacts from trade tariffs."

In a recent press release from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister said, while talking about a federal investment of $560,000 for the CFA to develop the Canadian Agri-Food Sustainability Initiative: "More and more, customers of Canada's high-quality food want to know that their food was produced ethically, with a minimized impact on the environment. Canada's farmers and processors are already leaders when it comes to the use of more green technologies and practices in our food production. This new initiative is an important tool to tell our story and build consumers trust for our producers."

Clean Seed Capital Group Ltd. (TSX-V: CSX) an agtech innovator and creater of the world's first true variable-rate smart seeding technology, the SMART Seeder™, recently made headlines in the sustainable agriculture sector.

Clean Seed just announced a US $5M strategic license and investment agreement with US based AMVAC Chemical Corporation ("AMVAC"), a subsidiary of American Vanguard Corporation (NYSE: AVD). (News from AVD)

Graeme Lempriere, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Clean Seed states "Our aligned objectives, to deliver sustainable meaningful results for the agricultural sector through the precise application and control of inputs, are rooted in the stewardship of our soil structure. AMVAC's leadership in the chemical business and Clean Seed's cutting edge leadership in the multi product delivery systems and related SMART Seeder™ and SMART Planter™ technologies assures a mutually beneficial relationship that strengthens our collective efforts and protects our product offerings. It has been a pleasure working with this likeminded group. I am also delighted to welcome Dr. Ulrich (Bob) Trogele, PhD to our Board of Directors and look forward to collaborating with him and the AMVAC teams on multiple levels as we share in the drive for industry leadership and innovation."

From the news: Founded in 1969, American Vanguard has five decades of sustainable, responsible growth. AMVAC delivers unique solutions for the broad array of challenges to enhance agricultural productivity and safeguard public health. AMVAC has earned a place among the world's top specialty chemical providers in the world, with businesses in USA, Mexico, Central and Latin America, Europe, Brazil, Australia and Canada.

AMVAC is also recognized as an industry leader in closed delivery systems, like its SmartBox® closed delivery application system, which serves to reduce risk of exposure to users and applicators. Building on that expertise, AMVAC has developed a more advanced system called SIMPAS (Smart Integrated Multiproduct Prescriptive Application System). AMVAC's patented SIMPAS system enables simultaneous variable precision rate application of multiple crop protection and nutritional inputs to maximize harvest yield, minimize grower costs, optimize soil health and benefit environmental sustainability. This precision application of crop input segment runs parallel with Clean Seed's patented development of its ground-breaking highly advanced SMART seeding and SMART planting technologies, creating a symbiotic opportunity for both parties.

As part of this relationship Clean Seed will license AMVAC certain intellectual property rights for a US$2,500,000 upfront fee and an ongoing royalty of certain delivery systems. Clean Seed will provide ongoing development support as the parties may mutually agree to for future growth and diversification opportunities.

AMVAC will also be investing an additional US$2,500,000 through the purchase of 6,250,000 common shares of the Company at a price of US$0.40 per share (the "Offering"), bringing the total up-front investment to US$5,000,000.

Clean Seed, bringing agtech to sustainable agriculture says on its website, "Today, everything has advanced, just look at your new tablet, laptop and cellphone and it is clear, 'things have changed.' Clean Seed is at the forefront of the digital age of agriculture and is clearly focused on facilitating progress for the farmer and global food production as a whole."

Nutrien Ltd. (NYSE: NTR) (TSX: NTR.TO), the world's largest provider of crop inputs and services, playing a critical role in helping growers increase food production in a sustainable manner, is optimistic about the coming season as other sectors face downsizing.

Nutrien recently announced that it continues to expect solid demand for crop inputs for the coming spring season and that its facilities continue to operate given its business is deemed an essential service by governments. Nutrien also announced that its annual meeting of shareholders will be held on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. (Eastern Time). This year, to proactively deal with the public health impact of COVID-19, Nutrien will hold the meeting in a virtual only format via live online webcast.

"Nutrien continues to expect solid demand for crop inputs for the spring season, despite some recent wet weather in the US, which has caused modest delays in field activity in some regions of the country. Our business is deemed essential by governments around the world, which underscores the criticality of the agriculture sector. Our facilities have continued to operate, under enhanced safety protocols, in order to ensure growers globally have the products and solutions they need to maximize crop production. Nutrien has a strong balance sheet, stable dividend and ample access to liquidity as we enter our peak period of demand," commented Chuck Magro, Nutrien's President and CEO.

Reflecting the future of the sector was news of the launch of The Defiance Next Gen Food and Agriculture ETF (NYSE: DIET) late last year.

From the news: The DIET ETF provides exposure to companies that are focused on technologies like alternative plant-based sources of meat, such as Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND), seed modification, sustainable farming and irrigation techniques.

"One of the most important challenges facing the world right now is finding ways to massively increase global food supply in a way that also manages environmental impacts and meets the needs of an increasingly health-conscious consumer," said Paul Dellaquila, President of Defiance ETFs.

GreenBIZ reported, "Amid the white noise of COVID-19 pandemic coverage last week, news about the $80 million funding round for alternative protein company Nature's Fynd offered a bright beacon of positivity. While the financing revelation was delayed a week because of the crisis, the sizeable round extends the steady growth of funding for this particular niche of the overall agtech space."

Agtech and sustainable agriculture are the wave of the future and not only in the face of the coronavirus pandemic but also as an ally in the fight against climate change moving forward.

Research more agriculture stocks at stock directory

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