DAVIS, Calif. & JALNA, India--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Arcadia Biosciences, Inc., an agricultural technology company focused on developing technologies and products that benefit the environment and human health, and Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co. Ltd. (Mahyco), a major seed company in Southeast Asia, today announced the achievement of a key milestone in the development of Water Use Efficient (WUE) rice. Arcadia received a significant but undisclosed payment for this milestone.
Arcadia's WUE technology seeks to improve crop yields under episodic water-stress conditions typical to global agriculture, as well as under severe drought conditions. WUE rice developed by Mahyco is expected to be among early examples of crops bred to withstand the varying environmental effects of climate change while expanding the range of usable acreage for crop production.
Mahyco demonstrated that Arcadia’s WUE technology significantly increased plant growth under normal and water-stress conditions in multiple rice lines developed by Mahyco. The rice lines incorporating Arcadia’s WUE technology showed double-digit increases in key plant performance and yield measures.
Rice is the world’s most valuable crop, grown on 162 million hectares globally with a harvest value of $334.7 billion in 2012 (FAO 2012 statistics; FAOSTAT). This crop plays a critical role in food security for more than half of the world’s population. Based on current growth rates, India is expected to overtake China as the world's most populous nation by the year 2030. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 221 million people in India, or about one-fifth of the population, are undernourished.
“At a time when farmers in India face significant pressure to increase productivity, factors such as urban growth, drought and rainfall variations are limiting water resources available for agriculture, particularly for water intensive crops such as rice,” said Eric Rey, president and CEO of Arcadia. “Through our collaboration with Mahyco on WUE and other agronomic technologies, we’re working to increase yields and improve efficiency in the use of key inputs, such as fresh water.”
“With this milestone, we are closer to bringing the benefits of this technology to the farmers who are challenged with reduced water availability on their farms and improving the overall productivity of the crop,” said Usha Zehr, chief technology officer of Mahyco.
About Arcadia Biosciences, Inc.
Based in Davis, Calif., with additional facilities in Seattle, Wash. and Phoenix, Ariz., Arcadia Biosciences is focused on developing agricultural products that benefit the environment and enhance human health. Arcadia’s agronomic performance traits, including Nitrogen Use Efficiency, Water Use Efficiency, Salinity Tolerance, Heat Tolerance and Herbicide Tolerance, are all aimed at making agricultural production more economically efficient and environmentally sound. Arcadia’s nutrition technologies and products are aimed at creating healthier ingredients and whole foods with lower production costs. The company was recently listed in the Global Cleantech 100, representing the most innovative and promising ideas in clean technology, and was previously named one of MIT Technology Review's 50 Smartest Companies. For more information, visit www.arcadiabio.com.
Established in 1964 by Dr. Badrinarayan R. Barwale, Mahyco is a pioneer and leader in the Indian seed industry. The company strives to provide quality seeds. Since its inception it has been engaged in plant genetic research and production of quality seeds for the farming community of India. Currently, it is engaged in the research, production, processing and marketing of approximately 115 products in 30 crop species including cereals, oilseeds, fiber and vegetables. Mahyco is also developing genetically enhanced crops with the use of gene transfer technology. Mahyco has a national presence with its network across the country. For more information visit www.mahyco.com.