Arcadia Biosciences, Inc., an agricultural technology company focused on developing technologies and products that benefit the environment and human health, announced that a key patent for its drought tolerance technology has been issued by the State Intellectual Property Office of China. The platform technology was invented by Drs. Shimon and Amira Gepstein at The Technion Israel Institute of Technology and Dr. Eduardo Blumwald at the University of California, Davis, and licensed exclusively to Arcadia. Issuance of this patent is an important step in the company’s efforts to offer Chinese farmers advanced technologies that can help them maintain productive crops under conditions of environmental stress like those the country is currently battling in many regions.
Arcadia’s drought tolerance technology enables plants to produce high yields using significantly less fresh water. The University of California, Davis; Technion; and Arcadia have demonstrated the technology’s effectiveness in field trials with several major crops, including rice, cotton, canola, and groundnuts. While the technology can have a significant positive effect on Chinese agriculture in times of drought, it can also prove beneficial under normal conditions by reducing the amount of fresh water farmers use to irrigate crops. The issuance of this patent enables the company to advance the development of a commercial drought tolerance program specifically for China, working in conjunction with Chinese partners.
“Fresh water is a constraining resource for agriculture throughout the world, including China. This constraint is present during normal weather patterns, and exacerbated during times of climate instability. Like farmers throughout the world, Chinese farmers are under extreme pressure to feed their country’s people. Our drought tolerance technology has the potential to help relieve some of this pressure in times of drought and at the same time free up critical fresh water resources for human consumption,” said Eric Rey, president and CEO of Arcadia. “The drought tolerance patent, as well as the recently-issued Chinese patents for our Nitrogen Use Efficiency technology, adds to a robust portfolio of intellectual property rights with which we can continue our efforts to bring Chinese farmers the technologies they need to feed their nation and remain globally competitive.”
Arcadia Biosciences has had an active presence in China since 2006, engaging directly with Chinese researchers to develop approaches to sustainable and low carbon agriculture.