28th February 2023 - The World BioProtection Forum (WBF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Asian PGPR Society for Sustainable Agriculture, under which both parties have committed to working together to help advance knowledge in biologicals for sustainable agriculture.
Biological agriculture for the management of pests, diseases and plant health is a fast-growing segment of Agriculture, and biological solutions offer safe and sustainable alternatives to chemical pesticides. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are root-colonising bacteria that exert beneficial traits on plant growth and development. In addition to plant growth promotion, PGPR are also used for controlling several plant pathogens, enhancement of nutrient up-take, and in rhizomediation. Therefore, they can act as biofertilisers, biostimulants and biofungicides, playing a range of important roles in sustainable agriculture.
The Asian PGPR Society for Sustainable Agriculture is an academic organisation engaged in encouraging research, education, and the dissemination of knowledge on the importance of PGPR. Its international and regional association meetings provide an opportunity for PGPR researchers to meet and discuss common interests.
The WBF is engaged in encouraging collaboration between the biocontrol industry and academia, while working to secure a regulatory framework that supports sustainable agriculture. The organisation’s annual event helps to connect different stakeholders who can work together to ensure the successful development and commercialisation of biocontrol products.
The WBF and PGPR’s shared interests in advancing sustainable agriculture led them to enter an engagement whereby the two parties will work together for mutual benefits, including the support of each other’s annual conferences, and the joint organisation of future training programmes and meetings related to activities of mutual interest.
The MOU was signed during a closed meeting in Auburn, Alabama, USA, on 23rd February 2023, between Dr Minshad Ansari, Founder and Chairman of the WBF, and Professor MS Reddy, Founder Chairman of the Asian PGPR Society for Sustainable Agriculture.
“In the context of increasing international concern for food and environmental quality, the use of PGPR for reducing chemical inputs in agriculture has important potential,” said Professor MS Reddy. “There is an active and growing group of researchers working on fundamental and applied aspects of PGPR. The challenge lies in applying and commercialising these bacteria for sustainable agriculture.”
Dr Minshad Ansari added “Industry, academia, policy makers and other stakeholders are all interested in finding alternatives that enable sustainable agriculture. We try to connect those people and encourage them to work together for the successful development and commercialisation of novel biological products – we encourage them to Collaborate to Innovate.”
The MOU is consistent with the WBF’s focus on Innovation through Collaboration. The organisation is founded on the principle that collaboration between the biocontrol industry and academia in the agriculture will connect different stakeholders who can work together to ensure the successful development and commercialisation of biocontrol products.
If you would like to find out more about the WBF, visit https://www.worldbioprotectionforum.com/ for information about the organisation and its goals, and click on ‘Member Benefits’ to download a membership application form.