Agribusiness buzz in brief

Agribusiness buzz in brief


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A quick look at what some of the players in agribusiness have been up to

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Landmark buys Macrofertil

Landmark is to buy the Louis Dreyfus Company’s Australian fertiliser and inputs distribution business, Macrofertil Australia.

The farm services and selling agency company, part of Canadian fertiliser and agricultural chemical products powerhouse, Agrium Inc, is expected to take over Macrofertil’s $159 million assets by April.

Incorporated in October 2013, Macrofertil Australia distributes a full range of fertilisers and crop protection products in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria.

It has six fertiliser storage and distribution assets with coating and blending capabilities, with annual sales exceeding 300,000 tonnes.

Louis Dreyfus Company, chief executive officer, Gonzalo Ramírez Martiarena, said the sale was part of a “strategic roadmap”, enabling the global commodities giant to “concentrate on businesses with closer ties to product sourcing and strong farmer relationships”.

He emphasised Louis Dreyfus’ other Australian merchandising and processing activities, dating back more than 100 years, would continue in the cotton, grains, oilseeds, dairy and sugar sectors.

Roots takes root on ASX

Israeli-based Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies has commenced trading on the Australian Stock Exchange with the ticker code ROO after an initial public offering (IPO) in the local market raised $5 million.

Roots co-founder, Dr Sharon Devir.

Roots co-founder, Dr Sharon Devir.

Roots has pioneered technology to provide two-in-one root zone heating and cooling systems and irrigation by condensation systems which increase crop yields up to 50 per cent, reduce energy consumption and provide water for irrigation from humidity in the air.

It’s shares began trading at 35 cents each and peaked at 40c before retreating to 37c this week.

The over-subscribed IPO places the company in a strong position to further develop and commercialise its technologies to help farmers in areas with weather extremes and water shortages so they can more effectively manage protected cropping cycles.

Co-founder Dr Sharon Devir, said Roots would play a tangible role in helping address the global food demand and supply imbalance that was only getting more challenging due to increasing weather extremes and crop demand.

“Australia has always had a strong agronomy heritage, so we are excited to be offering Australian investors the chance to be part of the agri-tech sector and some game-changing opportunities,” he said.

BASF-Mitsui agchem deal

Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals Agro (MCAg)and German chemical giant BASF have signed a long-term agreement to commercialise Broflanilide, a new insecticide for chewing crop pest and non-crop pest control.

The agreement follows an exclusive global licence and development agreement between the two companies in 2014.

Broflanilide has a novel mode of action with efficacy in the control of chewing insects, including caterpillars and beetles in specialty and row crops, and termites, ants, cockroaches and flies.

Its applications include in cereal seed treatments for wireworm control, and foliar sprays for  fruiting vegetables, potato, soybean, cotton, corn and legumes.

BASF gains exclusive rights to the sell in global markets, except in Japan and certain Asian countries and selected other markets.

Wine tourism grants open

State wine associations and related eligible entities can now apply for funding through the Australian Government’s International Wine Tourism State Grants and International Wine Tourism Competitive Grants.

The two grant programs each have $5 million in funding for exciting wine tourism experiences which intend to build a stronger pull for Australia’s food, wine and tourism and attract more international visitors to regional areas.

The grants are a component of the $50m export and regional wine support package, which aims to grow the Australian wine sector, showcase the nation’s wine tourism and drive demand for Australia’s wine exports.

Eligible competitive grant activities include wine tourism marketing campaigns, wine events, infrastructure and innovative products, which are focused on attracting international wine tourists.

Wine Australia has appointed an independent expert assessment panel to assist with the assessment of the grant applications after March 2.

  • For information about the grants, including guidelines, see erwsp.wineaustralia.com.
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