Microbes touted as key to future agriculture


MicrobesA local technology commercialization company is working with two mainland biotechnology firms to encourage the adoption of microbial treatments to boost agricultural productivity while reducing water consumption as well as cutting the use of fertilizers and pesticides.

“Everything we’ve been taught about farming is incorrect,” declares Vincent Kimura, president of Inovi Green. “Historical and current agricultural processes of crop fertilization and soil tilling are falling out of favor, damaging ecosystems and producing diminishing returns. Environmentally-friendly microbial treatments have evolved to do this work far more effectively.”

In comparison to traditional fertilizers, Kimura says, using microbes to enrich soil reduces fertilizer input by 50 percent, pesticide application by 25 percent, and water usage by 30 percent. Microbial enhancements to soil consist of bacteria and fungi, which work together with plants and their root systems.

“I was amazed at how well these technologies perform,” says Roy Honda, owner of Roy Honda Farms on the Big Island. “As a farmer, my commitment to the environment extends beyond the crops we produce. Converting to these products saves us money and is better for the earth.”

“In Hawaii, where we import 85 percent of our food and 95 percent of fertilizers, we must be especially conscious about food security and sustainability,” says Kimura. “We are always thinking about the future of agriculture and looking for ways to protect Hawaii’s natural resources while reducing imports.”

“The challenge is getting this technology into the hands of farmers and educating them on these modern advancements in the industry,” says Kimura.

He says advancements over the past few decades have led to successful products, such as Missouri-based AgriGro and Mississippi-based SumaGrow, for application to crops by farmers, both locally and globally distributed, who are now reaping the benefits. Farmers both locally and around the world have been converting their processes to incorporate microbe-friendly agriculture products, he says.

Inovi Green will be partnering with AgriGro and SumaGrow to apply the products in traditional, hydroponic and aquaponic applications throughout Oahu, Hawaii Island and Kauai. Providing the technology for farmers to use on their crops, assisted by scientists with clear-cut methodology and expertise, will allow the opportunity to conduct necessary pilot projects. Resulting data and successes will have the potential for worldwide expansion and replication.

“We are optimistic about the potential for increased usage worldwide,” said Dr. Tom Brillhart of AgriGro. “We can make a difference not only for island communities, but for developing and industrialized nations around the world.”

Kimura is moderating a panel and discussion at the Asia Pacific Resilience Innovation Summit, which is being held at the Hawaii Convention Center from September 15-17, 2014. Inovi Green’s Agriculture Innovation Summit panel includes representatives from AgriGro, Sumagrow, and University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR).

About Inovi Green

Inovi Green is a Hawaii-grown technology commercialization company which specializes in clean energy and “green,” sustainable technologies. The majority of Inovi’s work focuses on supplying technologies that make it safer and more cost-effective for organizations to operate. Inovi Green’s products are distributed throughout the U.S and various countries worldwide.

About the Asia Pacific Resilience Innovation Summit

The Asia Pacific Resilience Innovation Summit and Expo (APRISE2014) convenes business, technology and policy leadership across the global resilience pillars of energy, agriculture, water and security. These joint events collaboratively seek out new solutions for the vanguard communities facing the impact of climate-change. In alignment with the World Bank Inclusive Innovation Project and the U.S. Department of Defense, global government leadership join hundreds of corporate executives seeking innovative technology and best practice solutions for Energy, Agriculture and Security resilience.

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