Kwizda Agro - driving innovation in Biologicals

Biological News July/August from IHS Markit and Agropages

While over the past years availability of active substances in crop protection has steadily been decreasing in Europe due to ever more ridged regulation, farmers have been struggling to keep their crops healthy. To support growers, the Austrian crop protection company Kwizda Agro has put a strong focus on developing organic active ingredients in accordance with European Union's Green Deal and thereby offering reliable and sustainable solutions to protect their crops and maintain high quality yields. Kwizda Agro, a subsidiary of the family owned Kwizda Holding, has had a strong focus on sustainable agriculture since its founding in 1926. Known as one of the leading distributors in Central and Eastern Europe, the company has proven to be able to successfully position and integrate biologicals in spraying programs. And with the foundation of its business unit “New Technologies”, which focuses on the development and international distribution of proprietary biological products, Kwizda Agro emphasizes its dedication to sustainable agriculture. In the past few years, the company has been able to develop, produce and successfully market numerous innovations in the field of organic crop protection.

Kwizda Agro – a unique player in the Biologicals scene
“New Technologies” is one of Kwizda Agro’s four main areas alongside the distribution of crop protection products, Tolling, and Biocides. The foundation stems from Kwizda Agro's decision a few years ago to focus its research and development almost entirely on sustainable solutions based on natural extracts, minerals or microorganisms. Today, almost 100% percent of the investments in research and development are targeted at green solutions and over a third of the company’s employees work with biological crop protection. “Kwizda Agro is uniquely positioned to develop innovative and highly potent products for sustainable agriculture and forestry. As an Austrian company we are able to take recourse to know-how of conventional, but first and foremost organic agriculture. With over 100 advisors on the field in Austria, Hungary and Romania, we feed the knowledge and experience of practical users with latest research findings into our innovation process. Manufacturing ourselves, and having a strong focus on formulation, we can develop products which are affordable solutions to the grower and combine sustainability with modern product features,” Business Unit Manager Catalina Bardewyk says. “This shows Kwizda Agro’s dedication to sustainable agriculture”.

Strong partnerships as a basis for innovation
In research, development and the production of biological crop protection products, Kwizda Agro works closely with a network of leading academic institutes, biocontrol startups, family businesses and agricultural advisors. “Collaboration in research and development, registration as well as distribution is the key to accelerate innovation, to develop, produce and market new active ingredients and formulations and make them broadly available to the public,” Bardewyk says. To advance innovation, Kwizda Agro looks out for new partnerships, to open up new core markets and share investments. This applies in  particular to the registration of new active substances.

Discovering future markets and expanding further
Over the next few years Kwizda Agro will develop and roll out further innovations in the fields of arable crops, horticulture as well as forestry: In 2021 Kwizda Agro will introduce its new soil fungicide Xilon® based on a selected Trichoderma strain in arable crops such as oilseeds and corn. Its unique combination of a broad pathogen control, and improvement of plant and soil health will benefit conventional and organic farmers all over Central and Eastern Europe. “From now on Kwizda Agro is introducing biologicals also into broad acre crops and contributes to European Union’s Green Deal, providing tools for a modern, sustainable and integrated agriculture,” Bardewyk notes.

In 2021, KWIZDA will also launch its biological deer repellent TRICO® in the U.S. and Canada. In Europe, the product is currently the gold standard for the protection of young trees against deer damage in professional forestry. Besides  being an indispensable part of sustainable afforestation, Trico® will also close a gap in effective and convenient deer damage control in residential premises. To this end, research is increasingly carried out in the field of biological foliar fungicides for horticulture, with a strong emphasis on grapes and the control of Peronospora. Numerous active ingredients and formulations are being tested in field trials, while some have already started the registration process. Kwizda Agro intends to expand further and to be perceived as a strong and relevant partner for the development and distribution of primarily biological products in selected focus countries. Their innovative products support European Union’s Green Deal and give conventional and organic farmers tools for a modern, sustainable and integrated agriculture maintaining an intact environment.