Piva Capital Invests in Anuvia

With the world’s population expected to hit 10 billion by 2050 (an increase of 28 percent from 2020), farming on a massive scale appears to be necessary to feed everyone. At the same time, agriculture already uses almost half of the world’s vegetated land. It consumes 90 percent of all the water used by humanity and generates one-quarter of the annual global emissions that contributes directly to global warming. Yet today, hundreds of millions of people remain hungry.

It begs the question: do we face the no-win choice of feeding the world or killing the planet? A clear rethinking of how to innovate to improve our food production ecosystem, from farming to the food we put on our table, is not only a moral obligation but also a new way to create sustainable economic value to feed the world.

Right now, agriculture generates an estimated 25 percent of annual greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions, according to the World Resources Institute (WRI); that’s when you combine food production and the land-use changes associated with farming, such as clearing vegetation and plowing. Livestock — animals raised for meat, dairy, eggs and seafood — account for 31 percent of emissions. An additional 21 percent of emissions come from crop production for human consumption, and 6 percent comes from the production of animal feed. Land use accounts for an additional 24 percent of food emissions, including converting forests and other carbon “sinks” into cropland or pasture. Another 18 percent comes from the supply chain: food processing, transport, packaging, and retail. (Source: https://ourworldindata.org/food-ghg-emissions)

More Sustainable Farming: Important Keys to Solving the Seemingly Unsolvable

For this reason and others, today’s large-scale farming practices are not sustainable. Soils around the world are becoming degraded due to factors such as the loss of organic matter; erosion; adverse changes in salinity, acidity, or alkalinity; and the effects of toxic chemicals, pollutants, or excessive flooding. Research indicates that degradation of soils from unsustainable agriculture and other development has released tons of carbon into the atmosphere.

The irony is that soil can be a powerful tool for sequestering carbon, and carbon-rich soil is fertile soil. Many scientists say that regenerative agricultural practices can turn back the carbon clock, reducing atmospheric CO2 whilst also boosting soil productivity and increasing resilience to floods and drought.

Soil replenishment doesn’t need to be complicated. Farmers can take a circular approach to replenishing the soil with the one thing that’s plentiful and readily at hand: organic waste, from sources such as municipalities and livestock farms.

Another major concern: each stage in the food production cycle creates some form of GhG. For example, ruminant livestock — mainly cattle — produce methane through their digestive processes. Food waste also generates enormous amounts of methane. Today, an estimated one-third of all the food produced in the world goes to waste. In the U.S. alone, the production of lost or wasted food generates the equivalent of 37 million cars’ worth of greenhouse gas emissions. About 11 percent of all the GhG emissions that come from the food system could be reduced if we stop wasting food.

Another significant source of GhG emissions emanates from the manufacture of synthetic nitrogen (N) fertilizers consumed in crop production processes. The application of synthetic N fertilizers is recognized as the most important factor contributing to direct nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from agricultural soils. Nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, is an especially potent greenhouse gas because it traps far more infrared radiation than both carbon dioxide and methane. One pound of the gas warms the atmosphere some 300 times more than a pound of carbon does over a 100-year period.

At Piva, we identify visionary companies that are addressing the world’s most critical problems, including solving the puzzle of feeding the world and simultaneously addressing our climate crisis. We see a huge opportunity in safeguarding the security of the food supply, whilst mitigating the use of chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides that are damaging the environment. And, we want to commercialize more sustainable farming practices on a large scale, through innovative solutions that not only significantly reduce our consumption burden on the environment but at the same time, create new value for every critical stakeholder in our food supply chain. In other words, a solution that is of superior economic value proposition that does not compromise on the mission to address the challenges faced by our one planet.

That’s why we are thrilled to announce that we have invested in Anuvia Plant Nutrients, a company that manufactures the SymTRX bio-based fertilizer that not only optimizes nutrient availability and efficiency for plants, but also improves soil health, preserves natural resources, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Anuvia will use the financing to increase the production capacity in its new Plant City, Florida manufacturing facility and expand commercialization to meet growing demand. SymTRX is already in commercial use on U.S. farms, with use expected to increase to reach 20 million acres by 2025.

Enter Anuvia: Good for Farmers, Good for a Growing and Hungry Population and Better for the Environment.

Anuvia takes a “full circle” approach to the issue of sustainable farming, starting with healthy, fertile soil that helps protect the planet. The company’s breakthrough organic fertilizers are based on the patented Organic MaTRX, a natural and intuitive delivery system that is made from combining electrostatically charged (positive and negative) organic particles that provide docking sites for desired nutrients. These organic substances are easily taken up by plants and less susceptible to loss via leaching or volatilization. To produce its fertilizers, Anuvia uses a proprietary, multi-step, organic resource processing system that is clean, safe and makes use of organic materials that would otherwise be discarded.

The result of this innovative circular approach is clear; the average yield increases across corn, rice, cotton and canola trials using SymTRX was 5.0 percent when SymTRX was used in a blend replacing AMS (ammonium sulfate). This yield increase is a direct result of more efficient uptake and utilization of essential nutrients by plants. For an average farmer, the average increase achieved was reported between $14.82 — $35.89 per acre, tested in more than 80 sites for corn, cotton and rice over the course of four continuous seasons or an average of between 3x — 5x return on investment (ROI).

Another innovative aspect of the production of SymTRX by Anuvia is that it uses processed organic wastes from multiple sources as one of its feedstocks. According to EPA, more than 55 percent of food waste goes to landfill and the decomposition of these organic matters further releases GhG emission that will only exacerbate the climate crisis. This is a problem that will get worse as the population grows and an economically viable solution is much needed now and Anuvia provides a great solution for this problem as it works with municipalities and other sources of food, agriculture, and animal farm waste producers to catalyze the circularity of this new economy.

Anuvia’s fertilizer technologies yield up to 32 percent reduction in GhGs. A 2018 Environmental Resources Management (ERM) study, one of world’s leading sustainability consulting services, found that Anuvia’s plant-nutrient technology reduces greenhouse gases on a production acre by up to 32 percent, compared to the use of conventional fertilizers. It also found that for every million acres that use Anuvia, the reduction of greenhouse gases is equal to removing 20,000 to 30,000 cars from the roads. With 90 million acres of corn in the United States alone, this would conservatively translate to 1.8 million cars removed in perpetuity. Anuvia’s technologies also lower environmental impact by reducing runoff into lakes, streams, and rivers; on top of the added benefit of an increased crop yields and improving farm economics.

Amy Yoder, CEO of Anuvia Plant Nutrients

The Piva team has been following Anuvia for a while and we believe the time is right to get involved. They have entered the market, the product has been proven, and they have data to back the claims. Amy Yoder, Anuvia’s CEO, comes from a line of five generations of farmers and leads a formidable team of executives who are mission driven with a clear eye on the transformational economic value that their core technology can offer to the agriculture world. She has a clear view of what the company can become on a global scale. We look forward to working with the team to connect them with the right partners all over the world, leveraging our relationships in Asia Pacific to bring this much needed solutions to other growing and hungry parts of the world.

In a world where the need for more healthy food and the urgency of mitigating climate change are on a collision course, we at Piva are excited to back such an innovative company that makes farming more sustainable and lucrative — and food more plentiful. We want to leave the world a better place for the next generation, and food production is a foundational step.

With this investment, we joined an impressive group of new and existing investors all aimed to address this challenge through technology innovation including TPG ART, Pontifax AgTech and Generate Capital.

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