SOUTH AFRICA – The University of the Free State (UFS) and leading fresh produce company ZZ2 have unveiled their joint venture, NovaLogix, dedicated to the development and production of a groundbreaking probiotic aimed at enhancing plant health and bolstering crop growth in the fresh produce sector.

NovaLogix is set to revolutionize fresh produce production by concentrating on refining production techniques, product registration, commercialization, and the formulation of improved recipes, according to statements from the partnering entities.

The initiative, marking the culmination of a five-year journey that commenced in 2019, signifies a strong commitment to collaborative research and development.

UFS Vice Chancellor and Principal, Professor Francis Petersen, emphasized the importance of this collaboration, stating, “ZZ2 is a knowledge partner, and co-creation is a key component in this collaboration. Working together on a challenge makes the solution more sustainable.”

Professor Petersen expressed optimism about the transformative impact of innovation and co-creation on the agricultural sector.

He further highlighted the potential of this collaboration to impart valuable knowledge to the next generation, setting the stage for a more resilient and sustainable future.

The roots of this groundbreaking partnership were planted in September 2022 when the university and ZZ2 formalized their collaboration through FreeFarm Innovation, a company strategically positioned to capitalize on the strengths, capabilities, skills, and resources of both entities.

FreeFarm Innovation holds a significant stake in NovaLogix and serves as a platform for collaborative efforts in research, commercialization, and advancements in agricultural products.

ZZ2 Group CEO, Dr. Tommie van Zyl, emphasized the company’s commitment to building a future with UFS based on a symbiotic relationship.

He expressed confidence in the potential breakthroughs stemming from the initiative, stating, “We want to ensure that our strengths as an organization are put to good use, and we strongly expect that there will be breakthrough developments with this initiative.”

The collaboration aligns seamlessly with ZZ2’s overarching philosophy, ‘Work with nature,’ a journey initiated more than two decades ago. This approach veers away from conventional, industrial agriculture, focusing on farming in harmony with nature.

Dr. van Zyl stressed the importance of nurturing nature while utilizing its resources responsibly. He expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration with UFS to explore improved techniques and technologies that contribute to a more sustainable future, emphasizing the critical role of knowledge partners in this journey.

As NovaLogix takes its place on the forefront of agricultural innovation, the collaboration between UFS and ZZ2 stands poised to deliver transformative outcomes for the fresh produce industry, blending academic expertise with industry insights to pave the way for a more sustainable and resilient future.

For all the latest fresh produce industry news updates from Africa, the Middle East, and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.