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Chengdu New Sun pursues "green" agriculture in China

Chinese biologicals company Chengdu New Sun Crop Science has evolved into one of the country’s leading biologicals enterprises.

Chinese biologicals company Chengdu New Sun Crop Science came into existence around the turn of the century with a focus on a brassinolide-based biostimulant. It has since evolved into one of China’s leading biologicals enterprises with biopesticide, biostimulant and soil remediation products in its portfolio.

The company recorded growth of around 45% in 2018, registering sales of Yuan 140 million ($19.9 million at the current rate). Its revenue target for 2019 is around Yuan 240 million ($34.2 million).

Chengdu New Sun’s general manager, Qiming He, attributes the success of the company to its “firm goal” of becoming a pioneer in biopesticides and biostimulants. He emphasises his company’s commitment to the research and development, production and promotion of organic and green agricultural inputs. “We have become a leading enterprise in the fields of soil remediation, biopesticides and biostimulants,” Mr He points out.

There are over ten plant-derived biostimulants being developed and the company has obtained more than 100 patents in the US, Australia, China and other countries.

Products

Chengdu New Sun’s flagship biostimulant product is extracted from oilseed rape pollen. Its main component is 14-hydroxylated brassinosteroid. The extract contains 14-hydroxylated brassinosteroid analogue and amino acids, flavonoids, vitamins and other beneficial ingredients. The company claims the product as being superior to synthetic brassinolides. A series of plant-derived biostimulants based on pollen polysaccharides have also been researched, tested, registered and commercialised.

The company’s biofungicides comprise allicin, carvacrol, berberine, osthol and lentinan. Its bioinsecticides include matrine, celangulin and pyrethrins. A new plant-derived acaricide is in the process of registration at China’s Institute for the Control of Agrochemicals, Ministry of Agriculture (ICAMA), which is the regulatory authority for pesticides.

A plant growth regulator based on coronatine, a metabolite of Pseudomonas syringae, has also been developed. Chengdu New Sun is in the process of applying for registration in China and hopes to launch it by the end of next year.

“For soil remediation, we have been focusing on the research of bioremediation of acidification, salinisation and alkalisation, heavy metal pollution, and we are also optimising soil particle structure,” says Mr He. “We have successfully launched China's first soil conditioner product,” he adds.

Regulatory situation in China

Biological products in China are regulated depending on whether they are classed as botanical pesticides, biochemical pesticides or microbial pesticides.

“China does not have clear regulations on biostimulants at present,” says Mr He. Most biostimulants are registered and sold under the category of fertilisers.

“Biopesticides and biostimulants are relatively easier to register than agrochemicals, because of the government’s support of ‘green agriculture’,” Mr He points out.

In 2013, China’s State Council issued multiple policies encouraging the development of the “bio-agriculture” industry. That was followed in 2015 by the Ministry of Agriculture issuing the “Action Plan for Zero Increase in Pesticide Use by 2020”, which led to “vigorous” promotion of biopesticides. At the same time, in China's major cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, the purchase of biopesticides is subsidised. The ICAMA has issued new guidelines to simplify and accelerate the registration procedure of biopesticides. These included shortening of the experimental period and waiving certain experimental studies.

The biopesticide market in China, comprising mainly microbials, is around Yuan 3,000 million ($427.3 million). The market for biostimulants is about Yuan 2,000 million ($284.8 million).

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