Alfa Seeds are the first plant species in the world to be cultivated using a new, patented process, it has been announced.
The company, based in London, said the seeds, which have been grown in a lab at the University of Exeter in the UK, would be planted on farms and used as seedlings to help them flourish.
The new method of farming, which will be available commercially in the US and Europe, involves using a special seed, called a pinetree, which is extracted from the roots of a plant and grown on top of it.
The pinetrees are then ground into a powder and grown into a crop of seeds, where they are then planted in fields to be harvested for their oil and fiber.
“The seed is not only used to grow new seedlings but also for the seedlings in the plant to provide them with all the nutrients and protection they need,” the company said.
“With the use of these seeds, the plant is able to provide for its own survival, and to be able to take up the challenges of the climate change that we’re facing in the northern hemisphere.”
The process was pioneered by the company in the United Kingdom, and is believed to have been the first step in commercialisation.
The Alfa Seed team, which includes Prof Richard Haines, from the University, said they hoped to commercialise the seed in Australia within five years.
“I’m very excited about the prospect of having a commercial seed in the market in Australia,” said Mr Hain, from Imperial College London.
“It’s a big step for Australia, and I’m looking forward to seeing what other countries will do with it.”
Alfa Seeds said it would begin shipping seed in February 2018, with commercial production planned for early 2019.
It said it was investing in technology that could make the process more efficient, and said its new process would allow the plant’s seeds to grow in the same way as those grown on conventional farms.
“Our technology allows us to use less water, and we’ve also taken advantage of the new technology that allows us much faster growth,” said the company.
“We think that it’s going to make a big difference to the world’s supply chain and the agricultural sector, as well as for the climate.”
In addition, our new technology can be grown on a large scale and be used for a wide range of crops, including wheat, barley, rice, and more.