Agraforum: A brief History
Twenty years ago a unique plant extract with application potential in the agricultural industry was discovered in Germany. After seven years of intensive research the application potential of the extract was confirmed. After an additional 13 years of scientific research the product was commercialised under the name ComCat® (“Communication and Catalization”).
Commercialisation was initially confined to Europe while research was expanded to other parts of the world with the University of the Free State in South Africa being the main research centre.
Almost all aspects of agriculture depend on the ability of plants to grow and reproduce. The efficient growth of crops provides the basis of farmer’s livelihood. Millions of dollars have been spent in the past and is still spent on research to improve production. Currently there are 6.5 billion people on earth and it is estimated that this figure will increase to 8 billion in the next 15 years (increase of 33%). Keeping in mind that most of the available agricultural land is already cultivated this estimated increase in world population suggests that production will have to increase during the next few years, but on the already available arable land.
Current observations of dramatic changes in world climatic conditions as well as the resistance of consumers towards the application of synthetic pesticides suggest that innovative ways will have to be identified and applied in order to achieve higher yields on currently available agricultural land. ComCat® is an exciting new natural product that can be used to manipulate crops via signalling with natural secondary metabolite elicitors to induce resistance towards abiotic and biotic stress conditions and obtain higher yields.