The spectacular Lake Atitlán, located in the Department of Sololá, in the Guatemalan Western Highlands, was the ideal place to host the Conference focused on Agricultural Biocontrollers, organized by FinTrac. The event took place between May 7 through 9. The attendees included leaders from different parts of the supply chain of BioAg technology.
Biological controllers are live organisms that are being used to control other harmful and disease producing organisms in agriculture. The world is continuously under more pressure to produce more food for a larger population. According to the World Bank, in their 2014 publication, only 11% of the earth’s land surface is adequate for agriculture. Taking this number into account, and the fact that we will have to produce the same amount of food in the next 50 years that what we have produced in the last 10,00, it’s clear that we must be more accurate and efficient.
Even though Biological controllers have been available for many years, only recently has their use become more ubiquitous, allowing therefore more technological advancements in the production, packaging and application processes. AgBio products are not an enemy of traditional products, they can work in a synergetic manner as well. Nowadays, big corporations are also entering the Biocontroller trend, be it by research or acquisition, but the trend is clear.
Being Latam a mostly agricultural region, which is also extremely important for food security worldwide, and simultaneously a region with a great quantity of small producers, with little or no access to education and technology, AgBio presents itself as a very powerful tool to help the big farmer and the smallholder farmer as well. Climate change is already having an impact in agricultural production in the region. Being a farmer in Latam is a complicated endeavor. It has become harder to predict weather and the diseases are stronger and more frequent. At the same time, international markets are becoming stricter regarding the products used in the supply value chain. Through AgBio products, and new complementary technologies as UAV’s, satellite mapping and software, the combination of these tools can be a feasible solution to the problems previously presented.
During the conference, the attendees were able to hear about the challenges and recent progress. We heard about challenges, currents status of the industry and the future. The participants included producers of biotech supplies, distributors, users, suppliers of complementary products, support organizations and investors.
Pomona Impact, represented by Julio Martínez, was present at the event. Pomona had the opportunity to share with the participants information about our AgTech program. In this program, we are helping to catalyze the entrepreneurial ecosystem, with a target in agriculture technology in the Central America region. Through this program, we are supporting entrepreneurs in different stages, with the goal of creating a strong pipeline for investing. We presented our Climate Smart Accelerator, which will be taking place in the second semester of 2017, working with 10 entrepreneurs to help them become close to investment readiness. Pomona Impact believes in the region and in it's entrepreneurs. We know that we can find entrepreneurs who will catapult our region towards the use of new technologies that will make us more efficient.
We appreciate very much the invitation from Fintrac and we congratulate them hosting such an amazing event. We are certain, that working together, we will be able to generate and adapt new technologies that will pave the way towards a more sustainabile and efficient agriculture in the region.
Julio Martínez Anderson