Pesticides are often a necessary evil in today’s high-yield agricultural sector.
Yet, while the chemical insecticides can help farmers grow healthier crops, they come at a high price to the environment.
“On one hand, we need the pesticides to get the yield but on the other hand, we are facing environmental threats,” Shalom Nachshon, CEO of Catalyst Agtech, explained. “If you take pesticides out, the yield will be decreased by 60 or 70 percent. It is not marginal. It is the heart of the matter, so we must use pesticides.”
Developed with scientific research conducted at the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Catalyst Agtech team has discovered an innovative solution to the pesticide problem, one that allows the pesticides to do their work without harming the environment.
The innovative detoxifying agent can be used in combination with a variety of pesticides and herbicides, allowing it to work in a variety of situations. Used as an additive and applied alongside the pesticide, the substance remains dormant until it hits the groundwater.
“After the job is done and the problematic molecules start migrating down to the groundwater,” Nachshon said, “the trigger that we added starts a chemical reaction that breaks down the problematic molecule to something that’s harmless.”
As a result, pesticides can be applied to crops with far less risk of long-term water contamination while allowing farmers to enjoy increased yields.
“We know the most significant factor for improved growth is pesticides. Using them, we can double the crop yield and prevent diseases on the crops,” Nachshon pointed out. “Pesticides are great in this sense, but the dark side is that they are very persistent.”
Nachshon added that while pesticide use in any form is still not an ideal solution, his company’s innovation can help farmers grow more crops to meet the growing demand for food worldwide.
“Everybody knows that there is an ongoing demand for more food in the world, and there is not a question — only technology will solve this demand,” Nachshon stressed.