Meet Assaf Dotan, CEO of the AgTech startup Grace Breeding

Urea accounts for more than 70 percent of fertilizer usage worldwide and is a major emitter of greenhouse gasses with serious repercussions to the environment. Environmentally friendly alternatives to urea, such as Grace Breeding’s Nitrogen Fixation Technology, have been found to improve the absorption of nutrients from the soil and increase the efficiency of nitrogenous feeding. The NFT technology is made from a plant-based formula using extracts of different plants and a mixture of rhizobium bacteria. The use of this product allows farmers to significantly diminish their dependence on synthetic fertilizer, greatly reducing environmental damage while still boosting yields. 

Tell us about your background and how you ended up in the agricultural business.

I come from a family of farmer entrepreneurs, born and raised in the Arava valley in the desert of Israel. In the desert, farmers deal with extreme conditions to grow fruits and vegetables and have proved to be very successful in developing technologies and agrotechnical methods to grow highly efficient and profitable crops.

With my background, I finalized my B.Sc. as an agronomist and developed my professional skills in the Latin America region and worldwide. For many years I have been working in R&D and developing new products to respond to the diversified farmers, crops, and pests around the world. I have developed and established a Crop Management Team that had the role of identifying and developing solutions to any key market need in the plant protection arena. I have learned that a solution developed in one country can serve similar problems in another country under local adaptation.

By running global market research, I have learned that farmers around the world share similar emotional values: freedom/independence, heritage, and pride. Farmers strive to balance emotions associated with farming and heritage, while embracing new challenges for a secure future.

It’s critical to understand how farmers are open to adopt new technologies and improve their yield by leveraging their farming heritage. I am fascinated by biology and plants and passionate about improving farmer efficiency and yield.

Tell us more about Grace Breeding. How does the company innovate?

The company vision is strongly related to the need to live in harmony with nature while improving farmer efficiency and profit. Grace Breeding is developing its products and solutions by understanding the farmers values and needs, both emotional and functional. At the same time, Grace Breeding is looking to increase farmer yields and protect the crop from stress caused by climate changes. The company is developing solutions that support and empower the plant for better survival under extreme conditions. We strive to keep high yields while replacing synthetic-based products with biological products. The technology is proprietary to the company and the company vision is embedded into it. It’s a combination of natural-sourced ingredients with market-available bacteria. 

What is your company’s mission?

To provide unique and natural solutions for growing and profitable agriculture, while reducing global environmental damage.

How has the geopolitical and economic situation affected the agricultural business?

The world population is growing and more food is needed. At the same time, the world is facing major climatic and environmental changes that are in the potential to create a major disaster in the near future. The company is coming to reduce the negative impact of synthetic fertilizers that cause damage to both the air we breathe and the land and water sources that are critical to the future of mankind.

By adopting Grace Breeding solutions, farmers can contribute to nature, their motherland and source of income, and make the change that is so needed these days.

Geopolitical and economic situations are putting much pressure on synthesis of different agricultural common products and is causing a major lack of products like basic farmer fertilizer (Urea) to different economies in the world. Adding the lack of products available to farmers with high transportation costs positions Grace Breeding’s solution in a leading position to help economies in protecting their LOCAL food production. 

Grace Breeding production process is relatively easy and simple and allows distributors to easily produce the final product inland and local and by that to enable the stability and continuity of farming and food production around the world.

How do you see the future of Grace Breeding on a global scale? 

Grace Breeding solutions are coming at exactly the right time to reduce contamination damages, reduce transportation costs and reduce field application costs. Our solutions stand climatic stress while improving farmer efficiency and profit while reducing global environmental damage. 

What can we expect in the next 5/10 years in the food production and farming industries? 

The market is led by consumers and consumers’ needs. Food production and farming industries will need to continue to look and find solutions to improve their field-based efficiency by adopting more green, efficient products that are easy to use, such as biological products like Grace Breeding’s. Adopting products that support them to better compete in the market position their grains/fruits/vegetables as grown under better conditions.

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