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Contxto – Here’s one ever-expanding Brazilian-Colombian startup.
Biotech Portunus has offices in Curitiba, Bogotá, and Austin (United States). And last Wednesday (29), it announced it would open a pilot plant at a biopark in Toledo, a municipality in the state of Paraná. For what reason? To harness the power of funghi-killing shrimp for coffee cultivation.
Okay, a bit of an exaggeration there. Let me explain.
Pesky pesticides, says Portunus
Portunus develops a product called “Chitoguard” it’s a form of chitosan. Chitosan is a chemical compound that keeps plants free of infections and diseases. Moreover, it is obtained by treating the shells of shrimps and crustaceans. According to Portunus, because of chitosan’s natural base, it’s easier on the plants themselves and the humans who consume them.
And that’s because this biotech is concerned with the large-scale use of chemical treatments in agriculture. Correspondingly, it proposes a more eco-friendly and human-friendly solution through chitosan. In this particular case, for cultivating coffee.
- Related article: 14 biotechs rewriting Argentina’s startup DNA
Portunus’ founders want to maximize Toledo’s importance as a hub for agribusiness and openness to innovation for Brazilian farming. As a result, the pilot plant will help not only in the treatment process to obtain chitosan, but it can also lead to product placement and cross-collaboration with other biotech experts.
One can only hope the vendors of these shrimp shells obtained them from equally eco-friendly shrimp farms.
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