Source: Arcadia Biosciences news release



Arcadia Biosciences Inc, an agricultural technology company focused on developing technologies and products that benefit the environment and human health, and Advanta, a multinational seed company, have reached a research and commercial development agreement for the development of salt-tolerant sorghum.



Under terms of the agreement, Advanta receives exclusive global rights to the use of Arcadia's salt-tolerance technology in sorghum. Arcadia receives an upfront payment, milestone payments and a share of commercial sales revenue. This agreement builds upon the agreement the two companies reached in January for the development of Nitrogen Use Efficient (NUE) sorghum.



Sorghum is an important feed crop grown on more than 100 million acres globally. As the world's population grows, the need to produce more food and feed will increase pressure on fresh water resources for crops. Using existing sorghum varieties, farmers will need more land to grow sorghum crops and require more scarce water resources to achieve much-needed yield increases. Therefore, the ability to reduce reliance on fresh water and maintain high crop yields in salt-impacted environments is critical. Arcadia's salt-tolerance technology allows plants to produce normal yields and quality under salty water and soil conditions, expanding the range of lands available for crop production and reducing requirements for fresh water. The expected result is high-yielding crops with a lower impact on the environment and ability to grow on land that is currently not suitable for productive farming.



In addition, sweet sorghum is a highly productive potential biofuel source. Through the combination of technologies like NUE and salt tolerance, Arcadia and Advanta anticipate development of a sweet sorghum biofuel crop that can create an alternative fuel source with significantly reduced environmental impact, low requirements for fresh water and more favorable economics than other potential biofuel sources.



"Considering the global importance of sorghum as a food source and the increased interest in the crop as a source of renewable energy, it's critical to utilize new agricultural technologies that maximize the crop's potential and minimize its environmental impact," said Eric Rey, president and CEO of Arcadia. "Development of Salt Tolerant sorghum varieties can help farmers who produce sorghum for feed or fuel to farm more efficiently, cost-effectively and in a way that's better for our global environment."



"This is a step in the direction of fulfilling our promise to deliver the latest technologies to the sorghum farmers around the world," said VR Kaundinya, CEO and Managing Director of Advanta. "We believe in the future of sorghum in the world and are fully committed to bringing about a greater role for technology in this crop. We are glad to be associated with Arcadia Biosciences in this effort."