CroBio is an agricultural biotechnology start-up specialising in genetically engineered microbes. CroBio modifies microbes to enable sustainable agriculture and their first project aims to increase water retention within soil. CroBio plans to engineer a microorganism that will produce cellulose (a biodegradable polymer) in a matrix formation around the roots, thereby enabling water retention in the soil. It is also envisaged that this “bio-scaffold” will help retain key nutrients required for plant growth, reducing the need for chemical fertilisers. It is believed that this technology is the only crop targeted biologically-active solution to water retention in agricultural soil.
Why we like the business
As a result of climate change and a rising population, water availability for agriculture is increasingly becoming a pressing problem. Currently, over 40% of the world’s food depends on agricultural irrigation. CroBio's product provides a simple, effective and inexpensive solution that is also environmentally friendly. The product enables farmers to better control their water resources, thereby improving crop yields, whilst simultaneously cutting costs and supporting global efforts to save the planet.