MustGrow Reports Successful Banana Field Trials in Colombia; Program Transitions to Sumitomo Corporation
- Field data confirmed reduced incidence and severity of Fusarium wilt TR4 symptoms in banana plants after application of MustGrow’s product.
- No damage or phytotoxic effects on banana plants, even at higher dose rates.
- Colombia banana program transitions to Sumitomo Corporation.
- Sumitomo Corporation to drive project and field development, as well as regulatory work necessary for commercialization.
SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, Canada, November 10, 2021 – MustGrow Biologics Corp. (CSE: MGRO) (OTC: MGROF) (FRA: 0C0) (“MustGrow”) is pleased to announce the success of its initial field trial program in Colombia. Field testing confirmed the efficacy of MustGrow’s mustard plant-derived biopesticide in treating the disease Fusarium wilt TR4 – a unique feat MustGrow believes no other agri-science team has achieved. Fusarium wilt TR4 (often referred to as the Panama Disease) is a devastating pathogen ravaging the $25 billion global banana industry.
Positive Dose Response in Field
- After application of MustGrow’s mustard-based biopesticide, TerraMG, field data confirmed reduced incidence and severity of Fusarium wilt TR4 symptoms in banana plants after 21 days.
- Importantly, even at higher application rates there was no damage or phytotoxic effects to the banana plants, allowing MustGrow to explore treating the banana plants directly, in addition to soil applications.
- Data confirmed a reduced concentration in colony-forming units (CFU*) per gram of soil 21 days after application. There is a strong correlation between the level of CFU in soil and disease severity.
* A colony-forming unit (CFU) is a microbiology unit used to estimate the number of viable (the ability to multiply) bacteria or fungal cells in a sample.
Sumitomo Corporation (TYO: 8053) (OTC: SSUMY) will now drive field development work including dose rates, application frequency, application methods, and the regulatory work necessary for commercialization. On August 4, 2021, MustGrow announced an Exclusive Evaluation and Option Agreement with Sumitomo Corporation to evaluate MustGrow’s technology for the purpose of determining efficacy and commercial potential. Sumitomo Corporation has exclusive option rights to MustGrow’s technology for preplant soil fumigation, bioherbicide, and postharvest and food preservation for potatoes and bananas in North, Central, and South America.
MustGrow’s cumulative laboratory and field work has reaffirmed its approach to accelerate further development work with Sumitomo Corporation while simultaneously pursuing a potential “fast-track” product approval in Colombia. Additionally, MustGrow believes its work in Colombia will serve as a beachhead to expand into other leading banana producing countries.
MustGrow COO Colin Bletsky commented, “We now have field data showing efficacy with a clear path forward with Sumitomo Corporation. We are proud to be a leading agri-science team to not only show treatment of Fusarium wilt TR4 in lab, but to do so in infected fields in Colombia. We are very excited to see the continued development and potential expansion to other major banana growing regions.”
Fusarium wilt TR4
Fusarium wilt TR4 is the world’s most destructive banana disease, affecting particularly Cavendish bananas, which comprise half of global banana production. Currently, there are no effective treatments for infected banana plantations, with the disease remaining viable in soil for decades and can cause 100% yield loss. The spread of Fusarium wilt TR4 through banana plantations in South America has prompted Colombia to reportedly declare a National State of Emergency, enacting special measures to stop the disease from spreading, including the preventive eradication of infected plantations.
Sumitomo Corporation (www.sumitomocorp.com/en/jp) is a diversified corporation and one of the world’s largest general trading companies. Sumitomo Corporation is listed on three Japanese stock exchanges (Tokyo, Nagoya and Fukuoka under the symbol “8053”) and is a constituent of the TOPIX and Nikkei 225 stock indices. For the year ended March 31, 2021, Sumitomo Corporation had US$41.8 billion in annual revenue, US$5.4 billion of cash and cash equivalents and 957 consolidated subsidiaries & associated companies.
MustGrow is a publicly traded (CSE: MGRO) (OTC: MGROF) (FRA: 0C0) agriculture biotech company focused on providing natural science-based biological solutions for high value crops, including fruits & vegetables and other industries. MustGrow has designed and owns a U.S. EPA-approved natural solution that uses the mustard seed’s natural defence mechanism to protect crops from diseases and pests. Over 110 independent tests have been completed, validating MustGrow’s safe and effective signature products. The product, in granule format, is EPA-approved across all key U.S. states and by Health Canada’s PMRA (Pest Management Regulatory Agency) as a biopesticide for high value crops such as fruits and & vegetables. MustGrow has now concentrated a mustard extract biopesticide in liquid format, TerraMG, and with regulatory approval, this product could be applied through standard drip or spray equipment, improving functionality and performance features. In addition, the Company’s mustard-derived extract technologies could have other applications in several different industries from preplant soil treatment, to weed control, to post harvest disease control and food preservation.
As of November 4, 2021, the Company had approximately 46.3 million basic common shares issued and outstanding and 54.7 million shares fully diluted. For further details please visit www.mustgrow.ca.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Director & CEO
Certain statements included in this news release constitute “forward-looking statements” which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may affect the results, performance or achievements of MustGrow.
Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “expects”, “is expected”, “budget”, “estimates”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might”, “occur” or “be achieved”. Examples of forward-looking statements in this news release include, among others, statements MustGrow makes regarding: (i) a potential “fast-track” product approval in Colombia; and (ii) anticipated actions by Sumitomo Corporation to drive field development work including dose rates, application frequency, application methods, and the regulatory work necessary for commercialization.
Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results of MustGrow to differ materially from those discussed in such forward-looking statements, and even if such actual results are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, MustGrow. Important factors that could cause MustGrow’s actual results and financial condition to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements include, among others, the following: (i) the preferences and choices of Colombian agricultural regulators with respect to product approval timelines; (ii) the ability of Sumitomo Corporation to meet its obligations under the Option Agreement; and (iii) other risks described in more detail in MustGrow’s Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2020 and other continuous disclosure documents filed by MustGrow with the applicable securities regulatory authorities which are available at www.sedar.com. Readers are referred to such documents for more detailed information about MustGrow, which is subject to the qualifications, assumptions and notes set forth therein.
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