- Independent Sales & Business Development Representative, USA
- Experienced Tomato Grower, North America
- Breeder - Xiamen, China
- Senior Scientist, Plant Imaging - Brooklyn (NY) USA
- Scientist, Plant Substrates and Nutrition - Brooklyn (NY) USA
- Logistics Coordinator
- Head of Delivery and Support - Bristol, UK
- Sales Manager (Fruit & Vegetable) - Erkelenz, Germany
- Crop Inspector - San Jose (CA) USA
- Assistant Grower - Snowflake (AZ) USA
Top 5 -yesterday
- 700 refrigerated containers arriving in South Africa
- Southern Exposure wraps up successful in-person event
- T&G Global set for first commercial crop of new super-sized, blueberries
- Reemoon officially installs its first kiwifruit sorting line in South America
- AppHarvest acquires Root AI and its robotic harvester
Top 5 -last week
Top 5 -last month
Using nature to beat major crop pests is a growing industry
Dr Ansari is developing a new biopesticide to combat the insect, called western flower thrips, which is native to the US South-West but has spread to Europe and elsewhere.
Biopesticides are derived from natural materials such as animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals.
They are hailed as less toxic than conventional pesticides, with the added bonus of only affecting the target pest and then decomposing rapidly, leaving little or no trace or their existence.
"Our products are not harmful to other insects," Dr Ansari, managing director of crop protection company Bionema, based at Swansea University.
He said he was not far off registering his strawberry bio-insecticide with the European Union.
He said it was a long and expensive process, but hopes it will generate major value for his company.
"The strawberry market in the UK is worth £275 million to £300 million," said Dr Ansari. "But the biggest market is Spain and Italy."
He said he believed the time was right for increased use of biopesticides by growers and farmers. Although cheaper, conventional pesticides face regulation and restriction at a Europe and national level, said Dr Ansari, while consumers were becoming more informed about how their food was grown and treated.
Bionema has developed other products, including fungi and nematodes (tiny worms) to target insect pests affecting crops, horticulture and forestry. It also offers product testing and training services for the biological and agrochemical industry.
"We want to focus on these services," said Dr Ansari. "We train people how to use products, how to check their quality, how to make sure they get maximum benefit."
The 46-year-old, of Sketty, spent eight years as a researcher at the university's Department of Biosciences before pursuing his own path.
"I realised research was not enough!" he said.
"It has to be implemented as well. The passion was there."
He said the university had been very helpful in spinning the company out, helping with research, laboratory space and finances. Welsh Government funding and the Lead Growth Wales programme had also played their part.
Dr Ansari said he hoped Swansea could one day become a Welsh centre of excellence in biological control.
In the meantime it was a case of long working hours and faith that investors would come knocking. He said "Investors want to see a bucket of data."
Dr Ansari said Bionema had five directors and two part-time researchers.
He said he has been ploughing his own money into the venture, but added that turnover was growing.
"This is the reality with start-up funding," he said.
He described himself as a "scientist turning (into a) businessman".
He added: "I never get tired when I am working.
"I am passionate about bringing out products which can solve a problem."
Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here
Other news in this sector:
- 2021-04-09 Southern Exposure wraps up successful in-person event
- 2021-04-09 Chennai prices likely to rise as 2,000 fruit and veg shops at Koyambedu are shut
- 2021-04-09 Russian Federation proposes raising quota for Turkish tomatoes
- 2021-04-09 Wholesale prices of fruit and vegetables on Casablanca market
- 2021-04-09 'Spanish oranges formed the basis of the offers'
- 2021-04-08 Overview of technologies that help fighting food waste
- 2021-04-08 SEPC Southern Exposure’s annual Power of Produce presentation
- 2021-04-08 South Carolina farmers excited for 2021 growing season
- 2021-04-08 The frost in Spain in the third weekend of March caused damage worth 55 million euro
- 2021-04-07 Vietnamese fruits and vegetables sector targets $10 billion in exports
- 2021-04-06 UAE consumer chooses locally-grown fruits and vegetables
- 2021-04-06 South Korean agri exports hit all-time high in Q1
- 2021-04-06 Prices of Ugandan tomatoes are up due to rising demand in Kenya
- 2021-04-06 Russian quota on tomato exports from Turkey to expire soon
- 2021-04-06 Abu Dhabi: Silal signs up 850 farms to supply fresh produce
- 2021-04-06 Spanish fruit and veg imports up 190% since 1995
- 2021-04-06 France: Launch of a collaborative vegetable garden to reconnect children with nature
- 2021-04-06 Canada remained top US export market, accounting for 49 percent of total
- 2021-04-05 'Creating opportunity from resilience'
- 2021-04-02 A Queensland project utilising horticulture production and waste reduction to create a sustainable food city