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South Africa, Agriculture
Founded in 2002, Bio Insumos Nativa (Bionativa) develops, produces and sells phytosanitary products such as fungicides, bactericides, biological stimulants and insecticides to Chile’s medium- and large-scale farms. The company’s ecological approach to research and development is disrupting the biochemical paradigm that dominates the agriculture industry. Bionativa’s biologically based products are just as effective as chemical substitutes but developed at a fraction of the cost and time.
Paulo Escobar and Eduardo Donoso, come from backgrounds of dissimilar interests, but their skills could not be more complementary. Friends since their time as students at Universidad de Talca, Paulo and Eduardo studied agriculture from perspectives befitting their childhood interests. While Paulo earned an MBA, Eduardo worked towards his PhD. Paulo worked at COPEVAL, eventually working his way up to management positions. Eduardo researched and taught classes in plant pathology. While researching, he saw an opportunity to commercialize biopesticides and approached Paulo and fellow plant pathologist Gustavo Lobos.
In 2002, Bionativa finally launched. Today, Paulo is the CEO and Eduardo is the Director of R&D. Since inception, Bionativa has focused on solving mainstream phytosanitary problems rather than those that affect only organic farmers.
Bionativa only has four SAG-certified products, each made from microorganisms native to Chile. The products which are highly effective and compatible with chemical products, are priced in line with other premium agriculture inputs. Biologically based products were initially seen as artisanal, but Paulo and Eduardo managed to break into the market of conventional farmers nevertheless.
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