David Friedberg explains his new startup–Ohalo Genetics–and Boosted Breeding (TM) Technology

Ensuring food security is an urgent and multifaceted challenge. As the human population grows, the demand on agriculture to provide sufficient nutrients and calories has become critical. Ohalo Genetics leads the charge in addressing this crisis with its patented Boosted Breeding (TM) technology.

Currently, a significant portion of our planet’s land—excluding oceanic regions—is dedicated to agriculture. Crop cultivation and livestock grazing take up these acres, all operating on the basic principle of converting sunlight, water, CO2, and soil nutrients into food through plants.

These living solar cells capture and transform energy with remarkable natural efficiency, but when it comes to yield—the amount of food produced per acre—there is an astonishing variance around the world. The United States may average 175 bushels of corn per acre, yet in Kenya, the yield can be as little as 70 bushels under comparable conditions.

Our current use of agricultural land hints at immense untapped potential, suggesting that food production could be vastly more resource and carbon efficient. The secret lies beneath the surface in the very programming of plant life: the genome.

Ohalo genetics boosted breeding program in agricultural laboratory
Ohalo genetics boosted breeding (TM) program

With advancements in genomic science over the past decade, there is now the potential to edit the genetic code of plants. Techniques such as CRISPR allow for precise changes, enhancing a plant’s ability to grow and increasing its biomass accumulation.

Such modifications don’t just promise incremental growth in yield; they hold the potential for substantial leaps, potentially doubling or even tripling produce output in a single year. It is these innovations in gene editing that not only aim at confronting the issue of food security but also present a strategy to significantly reduce costs, optimize land use, and advance environmental sustainability.

Key Takeaways

  • Food production can significantly increase by improving the efficiency of photosynthesis and crop yield through genomic editing.
  • Genomic editing technologies like CRISPR can expedite natural plant breeding processes, enhancing growth potential and yield to meet rising food demands.
  • Adopting advanced genetic techniques in agriculture could lower food costs, decrease water usage, and increase carbon sequestration, while addressing global malnutrition challenges.
  • Ohalo Genetics accomplishes this through its new Boosted Breeding (TM) technology

Challenges in Achieving Food Security

The agricultural industry is tasked with a monumental challenge: optimizing the conversion of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into essential nutrients using plants as conversion devices.

These naturally efficient ‘solar cells’ currently operate below their possible efficiency. For instance, corn yields vary dramatically across regions—with the United States averaging 175 bushels per acre, China 110, and Kenya 70, despite similar environmental conditions. The gap widens when considering that some US farmers achieve over 300 bushels per acre, highlighting the untapped potential in crop productivity.

Ohalo genetics boosted breeding  food scarcity corn maize field test
Field Test, Ohalo genetics boosted Breeding (TM)

Advancements in genomics, particularly the ability to edit plant genomes using CRISPR technologies, present a significant opportunity for Ohalo Genetics. These genome edits, akin to natural mutations, enable plants to vastly increase their biomass accumulation, potentially leaping far beyond the historical annual yield improvement of 1%.

By specifically accelerating these changes, yields could surge by 50% to 100% in a single year, a transformative step for agriculture.

From a business perspective, the farmer remains central, as the producer of edited seed and plant varieties designed to enhance farm economics. By improving crop yields, farmers can significantly boost their profit margins, reduce food costs, and achieve a range of environmental benefits such as increased carbon sequestration and reduced land and water use.

Over the long term, these enhancements could contribute to greater biodiversity, more affordable food, and increased calorie availability.

The urgency of addressing food insecurity has been underscored by the recent uptick in global malnutrition figures—rising from 600 million to over one billion people existing on less than 1500 calories per day since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pressure of climate change on vulnerable regions further complicates the global food landscape. Therefore, deploying high-yielding crops effectively in pertinent markets is critical to overcoming these challenges and reaping the societal benefits of advanced agricultural technologies.

Current Use of Farmlands for Crop Cultivation

Globally, a significant portion of Earth’s terrestrial surface is dedicated to farming, with a substantial fraction utilized for rearing livestock and the remainder for cultivating plants. These plants are essentially organic bioconverters, transforming sunlight, carbon dioxide, and soil nutrients into consumable outputs via photosynthesis, harnessing solar energy with remarkable efficiency.

Nonetheless, there is considerable untapped potential in agricultural productivity across various regions. For example, in the United States, corn yields average at around 175 bushels per acre, yet, some farmers consistently surpass 300 bushels per acre, suggesting a substantial disparity in productivity. Comparatively, in China, the average yield drops to 110 bushels an acre, and further declines to 70 bushels an acre in Kenya, despite similar soil quality and climatic conditions.

This indicates a vast potential for optimization in calorie and nutrient production from crops, which could also contribute significantly to carbon sequestration.

At the core of agricultural advancements is the understanding of plant genomics. Breakthrough technologies like CRISPR gene-editing enable precise modifications to plant genomes, accelerating the potential for yield increases that historically progress at only 1% annually.

The implications of targeted genome editing are profound, having demonstrated significant growth in biomass and yield—potentially doubling or even tripling outputs within a single growing season.

The direct consumers of these innovations are farmers, who adopt these modified seeds to enhance their crop yields and profitability.

Eco-friendly byproducts of these advancements include reduced water usage, increased carbon sequestration, and more efficient land use—contributing to a reversal of biodiversity decline. Moreover, in an era marked by a significant increase in global malnutrition rates post-pandemic, the development of high-yielding crops is critical to enhance food security in the face of climate change.

Photosynthesis Efficiency and Crop Production Enhancement

ohalo genetics boosted breeding, wheat will see greatest benefit
Potatoes, Wheat and Rice To See Largest Volume Gain From Boosted Breeding (TM) by Ohalo Genetics

Agriculture occupies about one-third of Earth’s terrestrial acreage, excluding ocean areas. These vast tracts of land are the theaters of an intricate molecular conversion, catalyzed by plants that function akin to natural solar cells.

They ingeniously transform sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide, assimilating elements in the soil to yield produce desirable to humans. However, these biological machines exhibit suboptimal efficiency concerning their theoretical potential.

  • Typical Corn Yields by Country:
    • United States: Average yield per acre is 175 bushels, with some farmers achieving over 300 bushels.
    • China: Average yield per acre is 110 bushels.
    • Kenya: Average yield per acre is 70 bushels.

These figures highlight a disparity in yields despite analogous soil and climatic conditions. This implies a significant opportunity to enhance the efficiency of our agricultural processes.

By doing so, we stand to not only augment the caloric and nutritional supply for human consumption but also leverage this as an extensive carbon sink for atmospheric carbon sequestration.

The advent of genomic sciences has been game-changing in this arena. With the capability to reprogram the genetic makeup of plants using CRISPR gene editing technology, the door has been opened for radical improvements in crop yields.

Genetic adjustments that replicate potential natural mutations can expedite the breeding process, circumventing the extensive time-frame required by nature.

  • Business Model & Socioeconomic Impact:
    • The primary customers are farmers who purchase genetically edited seeds.
    • Economic output for farmers is improved, food costs are reduced, and resource utilization is optimized.

The immediate benefits of this scientific progress are multifaceted. There is a marked decrease in water usage, increased carbon absorption due to enhanced biomass conversion, reduction in required agricultural land area, and, critically, the facilitation of a more biodiverse ecosystem.

Such yield advancements are vital, given recent setbacks in global nutrition post-COVID-19. Malnutrition figures have once again escalated, with over a billion people subsisting on less than 1500 calories per day.

The urgency to distribute high-yielding crops across varying climates and regions is underscored by these statistics, acknowledging the challenge climate change poses to agriculture.

This scientific evolution in crop efficiency is poised to counteract malnutrition and ensure a robust response to food security challenges. It does so while proactively addressing the ecological footprint of agriculture, signaling a transformative leap in sustainable farming practices.

Advances in Crop Genomic Editing with CRISPR: Ohalo Genetics Boosted Breeding (TM)

Agriculture occupies roughly a third of Earth’s land, not including oceans, primarily for pasture and crop cultivation. This vast sector operates on the conversion of sunlight, water, CO2, and soil nutrients into consumable products by plants, nature’s efficient solar-powered molecular converters.

Despite their efficiency, plants haven’t reached their full potential. For example, corn yield varies dramatically worldwide: the U.S. averages 175 bushels per acre, while China and Kenya produce 110 and 70 bushels per acre, respectively, even under comparable conditions. Some U.S. farmers surpass the average significantly, achieving over 300 bushels per acre, pointing to an extensive gap between current outputs and achievable potential.

With the ability to significantly boost food production efficiency, genomic technology holds the key to addressing global food security. The relatively new field of genomic editing, particularly CRISPR technology, provides tools for enhancing plant productivity.

Approximately ten years ago, it became possible to meticulously edit genome sequences of these photosynthetic machines, allowing for potentially doubling or even tripling their yield in a single year, as opposed to traditional methods that have seen a mere 1% annual increase over the past century.

Utilizing CRISPR, plants are not randomly modified but instead, undergo precise genetic enhancements akin to natural mutations with Boosted Breeding (TM). Farmers can then cultivate edited seeds with improved growth traits leading to greater profits, reduced food costs, less water consumption, increased carbon capture, and reduced land requirements.

Business Approach to CRISPR-Edited Crops:

  • Customer Focus: Farmers receive seeds and plants with edited genomes.
  • Genome Editing: Genetic modifications mirror naturally occurring mutations, accelerating what would take nature millennia.
  • Productivity Gains: Farmers substantially increase profit margins; food costs diminish, and resource efficiency improves.
  • Environmental Impact: Potential increases in biomass conversion and reduction in land use.

The aftermath of recent global events has witnessed a backslide in nutrition statistics; malnutrition rose from 600 million to over a billion individuals living below the caloric threshold essential for survival. High-yielding crops are a critical solution, especially in regions battered by the harsh realities of climate change.

Enhancing crop genomes using CRISPR is more than a scientific endeavor—it’s a mission to deliver socio-economic and environmental benefits on a global scale.

Advancements in Agricultural Efficiency–Boosted Breeding (TM)

Ohalo Genetics double chromosome with boosted breeding technology
Twice the Chromosomes with Boosted Breeding (TM)

In a significant leap forward for agricultural productivity, they have made remarkable progress in enhancing the growth capability of crops.

Acknowledging that approximately a third of the Earth’s terrestrial surface is employed for agriculture—primarily divided between pasture and crop cultivation—he emphasized the role of plants as natural machines performing molecular conversion.

These biological machines harness solar energy to convert carbon dioxide, water, and soil nutrients into desirable products. Yet, it is evident that these plants have not been performing at their optimal conversion efficiency.

Analyzing yield disparities across the globe, he noted that, while the average corn yield in the United States stands at 175 bushels per acre, other regions with similar soil and climatic conditions achieve significantly less.

China records an average of 110 bushels per acre, and Kenya, even less, at 70 bushels per acre.

Contrastingly, some American farmers have markedly outstripped this average, consistently harvesting over 300 bushels per acre, highlighting the vast potential for increased efficiency in crop production.

He heralded genomics as a transformative tool capable of optimizing these natural converters.

A decade ago, they gained the ability to precisely reprogram a plant’s genome using CRISPR-based gene editing technology.

His team embraced the challenge of identifying a specific set of genomic edits with the potential to substantially improve plant yield.

After years of relentless research and experimentation, they have successfully demonstrated that certain edits can indeed lead to a dramatic increase in biomass accumulation and growth rates.

This advancement is not about marginal gains but a potential paradigm shift in agricultural productivity.

By selecting the right gene modifications—akin to those that could occur naturally over millennia through breeding or evolution, but accelerated through precise CRISPR editing—they’ve unlocked the potential to double, or even triple, standard annual yield improvements.

Not content with incremental progress, their breakthrough aims for leaps of 50% to 100% increase in crop yields within a single year.

Such outcomes have been empirically validated, substantiating their once-theoretical approach.

The business model recognizes farmers as primary customers, providing them with seeds and plants that have undergone genomic optimization.

Their approach mirrors natural processes, whereby genes found in nature are carefully edited for enhanced utility. The edits closely resemble those mutations which occur in the natural course of plant breeding and evolution, ensuring the modifications are well within the boundaries of ecological feasibility.

Strategic Approach to Agricultural Productivity

Agriculture comprehensively utilizes about a third of Earth’s non-aquatic land, with vast portions dedicated to livestock grazing and crop cultivation.

The vitality of agriculture hinges on effective molecular conversions carried out by plants, which operate as biological solar cells, transforming sunlight, carbon dioxide, and soil nutrients into useful biomass.

Despite these plants’ inherent efficiency, there exists a substantial gap between current yields and their theoretical maximum output.

For example, the United States averages 175 bushels of corn per acre, while similar environmental conditions in China and Kenya yield only 110 and 70 bushels per acre, respectively. Yet, certain U.S. farmers surpass the average, procuring upwards of 300 bushels per acre.

The emergent field of genomics offers a pathway to enhance these yields dramatically by reprogramming the genetic blueprint – the plant’s genome.

With the advent of CRISPR technology over the past decade, specific genetic modifications can now be rapidly introduced to plants, accelerating traits that might otherwise take eons to develop naturally through evolution or selective breeding.

The goal is to unlock the latent growth potential of crops, potentially doubling their productivity in a single year rather than the incremental 1% seen annually over the past century.

From the standpoint of the company’s operations, the farmer is the focal customer, and the service offered is the provision of genetically edited seeds and plants.

These edited crops promise to ameliorate farmers’ economics by boosting profits, reducing the expenses of food production, and lessening reliance on water.

The direct editing of genomes induces mutations that could occur spontaneously through natural breeding, yet with greater precision and expedience.

Advances in Crop Genome Editing

Agricultural lands occupy approximately one-third of Earth’s terrestrial surface. Pastures make up much of this space, with the remainder dedicated to cultivating food crops.

Utilizing sunlight, water, CO2, and soil nutrients, plants perform impressive molecular conversions, functioning like natural machines that harvest solar energy.

Despite their efficiency, there’s significant room for improvement when comparing the output of crop yields across different regions.

For instance, corn yields vary from 175 bushels per acre in the United States to just 70 in Kenya, despite similar conditions.

His team is tapping into this untapped potential by employing genomic technologies.

Specifically, they use CRISPR, a tool that emerged over a decade ago, which allows precise modifications to plant genomes.

These changes are akin to the natural mutations that occur over millennia or through traditional breeding practices—only much faster.

This scientific advance implies a possible leap in crop yields—not by the historical average of 1% per annum but potentially by 50% to 100% in a single year.

Having identified a suite of specific gene edits that could dramatically increase a plant’s biomass and growth, his team has managed to transform theoretical potential into tangible reality.

The business model is straightforward: the farmer is the customer.

By editing the plant genome and producing seeds, the company aims to improve farmers’ economics by doubling their profits while concurrently reducing food costs.

The implications extend beyond economics, potentially enhancing water usage efficiency and carbon sequestration, thereby minimizing the environmental footprint of agriculture.

Socio-Economic Benefits and Environmental Consequences

Agriculture occupies roughly one-third of the Earth’s terrestrial land, with a significant portion allocated to raising livestock and crop cultivation.

In the realm of crop production, the inherent machinery of plants, fueled by sunlight, plays a crucial role in transforming carbon dioxide, water, and soil nutrients into consumable products through photosynthesis.

These biological systems, despite their sophistication, often operate below their potential efficiency levels.

In the United States, for instance, the average corn yield stands at about 175 bushels per acre. Comparable figures in China and Kenya are 110 and 70 bushels per acre, respectively, even with similar soil and climatic conditions.

Remarkably, certain U.S. farmers achieve yields surpassing 300 bushels per acre, indicating the vast untapped potential in crop efficiency.

Greater crop yields not only address global food security by amplifying the calorie and nutrient supply necessary for human sustenance but also present a formidable opportunity for carbon sequestration.

By enhancing resource efficiency and reducing overall production costs, it is feasible to substantially increase food accessibility.

This advancement is made possible by genomic edits, achievable via CRISPR technology, enabling targeted and accelerated modifications to plant genomes that would otherwise occur sporadically through natural breeding and evolution.

The introduction of fine-tuned seed varieties to farmers catalyzes a domino effect: improved economic returns for farmers, reduced agricultural costs, diminished water consumption, and heightened biomass conversion for carbon capture.

As the customer, farmers benefit directly from augmented crop production, witnessing a potential doubling of profits.

Cost-effective agriculture naturally leads to more affordable food prices, thereby fostering societal access to adequate nutrition.

Rejuvenating Agricultural Diversity and Enhancing Food Reach

Agriculture consumes approximately one-third of Earth’s terrestrial area, excluding oceanic regions. A significant portion is allotted to pasture, with the remainder dedicated to cultivating crops.

This vast conversion of natural resources—sunlight, water, carbon dioxide, and soil nutrients—through the remarkable process of photosynthesis in plants creates food.

These natural solar-powered organisms are astounding but not as productive as they could be.

In the context of efficiency, the United States achieves an average corn yield of 175 bushels per acre. Comparable soil and climatic conditions yield only 110 bushels per acre in China and even less in Kenya, at 70 bushels per acre. However, it is noteworthy that some U.S. farmers obtain upwards of 300 bushels per acre, illustrating a significant disparity in production potential.

Genomic science lies at the heart of this issue. The genomic blueprint of these photosynthetic ‘machines’ has become increasingly editable through CRISPR technology, allowing for optimized yield and growth.

A mere five years ago, a concept emerged suggesting specific genomic alterations could dramatically boost a plant’s biomass accumulation and growth.

The transformation is not incremental; instead of the historic 1% annual improvement in yield, advancements could leap to 50% or 100% in a single year.

These advancements aren’t just theoretical. Real-world applications show promising results, marking a pivotal shift in agriculture’s future.

Business Model for Revolutionary Growth:

  • Primary Customer: Farmer
  • Product: Genetically edited seeds and plants
  • Process:
    • Utilize naturally occurring genes
    • Accelerate evolution with precise, rapid CRISPR edits
    • Produce and distribute seeds to farmers

Far-reaching Impact:

  • Doubled farmer profits
  • Reduced food costs
  • Decreased water usage
  • Enhanced carbon sequestration
  • Minimized land requirements

Difficulties in Enhancing Nutrition and Agricultural Outputs

Agriculture utilizes approximately one-third of terrestrial land, discounting oceans. A substantial portion is dedicated to cattle grazing, and the remainder to cultivation. This land converts elements such as sunlight, water, CO2, and soil nutrients into food. This process is facilitated by plants, which act as organic solar-powered converters. However, plants’ efficiency in biomass conversion is far below their true potential when grown for human consumption.

In various countries, the crop yield per acre fluctuates significantly despite analogous soil quality and climatic conditions. For instance:

  • United States: An average corn yield is 175 bushels per acre, but some farms have exceeded 300 bushels.
  • China: The yield averages at 110 bushels per acre.
  • Kenya: The yield stands at around 70 bushels per acre.

These figures underscore a stark disparity in agricultural efficiency. They hint at untapped potential of crop productivity that might enhance nutrient and calorie supply while acting as a significant carbon sink.

The past decade has witnessed an innovation in agriculture with the advent of gene-editing technologies like CRISPR. Through meticulous genome editing, plant yield can be significantly enhanced. This mirrors natural processes of mutation found in traditional plant breeding, but with more precision and speed. For instance, strategic edits in a plant’s genome could potentially catalyze a crop yield increase of 50% to 100% in a single year. This far surpasses the historical annual yield improvement of 1%.

The business model revolves around providing edited seedlings to farmers. By planting these genetically optimized seeds, farmers could potentially double their profits. Additionally, this could have broader impacts, such as decreased food costs, lowered water consumption, increased carbon capture by plants, reduced land use, enhanced biodiversity, and improved global food accessibility.

Sadly, the past two years have witnessed a decline in global nutrition levels. Over a billion individuals now subsist on less than 1500 calories per day. High-yielding crop development that withstands climatic challenges is crucial to tackling socioeconomic hardships. It is also crucial to reversing the trend in malnutrition, by making nutritious food more accessible to vulnerable populations.

Advantages of High-Output Agricultural Varieties

The scale of agricultural land amounts to roughly one-third of the Earth’s terrestrial area, not including oceans. The significance lies in the conversion of sunlight, CO2, water, and soil nutrients into valuable plant biomass through photosynthesis. This process is akin to natural solar energy harvesters.

Despite the efficiency of this natural process, current agricultural yields are suboptimal compared to their potential. In regions with equivalent soil and climatic conditions like the United States, China, and Kenya, yields vary considerably. The United States averages 175 bushels of corn per acre, China 110, and Kenya 70.

Yet, some farmers in the United States achieve yields exceeding 300 bushels per acre. This indicates that significant improvements in resource utilization and food production efficiency are attainable.

Innovations in genomic science, particularly the application of CRISPR gene-editing technology, offer a means to enhance the yield of crops substantially. See e.g. Ohalo Genetics Boosted Breeding (TM). Unlike the incremental annual yield improvements traditionally observed in agriculture, these advancements hold the promise of dramatic gains. They could potentially increase yields by 50% to 100% within a single year.

The edited plants essentially maintain harmony with nature, as the genetic changes mirror those that could occur naturally through breeding or evolution. Seed and plant sellers focus on editing the plant genome with precision. These edits are comparable to natural mutations that would normally manifest over extensive periods.

By expediting this process, agricultural efficiency is improved. This leads to doubling farmers’ profits, reducing food costs, and lessening water usage. Furthermore, edited crops can contribute to increased carbon sequestration and more sustainable land use. Over time this could lead to the restoration of biodiversity and making nutrients more accessible.

Recently, a concerning rise in global malnutrition has underscored the urgent need for high-yielding crops, particularly in climate-challenged areas. By cultivating these improved varieties, the goal is to reverse the trend and to tackle the challenge of feeding an ever-growing population effectively.

The socioeconomic advantages of deploying such crops are numerous. They could be pivotal in fostering greater food security globally.

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