SOURCE: AgraQuest

AgraQuest

February 14, 2011 16:07 ET

AgraQuest and Partners to Introduce Unique Biofungicide for Control of Black Sigatoka in Bananas

SONATA® Fungicide Is Now Available in Colombia and Ecuador and Expanding to Central America

DAVIS, CA--(Marketwire - February 14, 2011) - AgraQuest Inc. announced today that the company has selected distribution partners for the product SONATA® fungicide, a novel biofungicide used for control of black sigatoka in bananas. DuWest, headquartered in Guatemala, has signed on as the exclusive distribution partner for Central America and the Caribbean. INTEROC, headquartered in Ecuador, has signed on as the exclusive distribution partner for Colombia and Ecuador.

SONATA, based on the beneficial bacteria Bacillus pumilus strain QST 2808, gives banana producers a new tool for contact control of this devastating disease.

"At DuWest, we are focused on new technology and safety for our portfolio. SONATA provides both while offering great disease control in a spray program for our customers," said Herbert Villeda, Marketing Manager for DuWest.

The active ingredient in SONATA works by out-competing fungal diseases for the enzymes they need to build cell walls. SONATA is a replacement for mancozeb in season-long treatment programs. 

"SONATA fungicide delivers similar levels of control of black sigatoka, but, as a biofungicide, has a much improved safety profile," said César Lamonega, AgraQuest's VP of Sales in Asia and the Americas. "This fungicide is certified for organic production, while delivering results for any grower who wants to reduce the chemical pesticides being applied on their plantations without reducing control."

"Our testing of SONATA has validated its fit in Colombia and Ecuador. We see considerable opportunities for expanding SONATA beyond bananas and into other fruits and vegetables. The addition of SONATA to our product offering brings a fungicide that is not only effective but that has a unique safety profile," said Marco Haro, General Manager of INTEROC S.A. Colombia.

SONATA is also available in the U.S., Mexico and South Korea. Registrations are pending in Brazil and the European Union. 

About AgraQuest, Inc.
AgraQuest is a biotechnology company that focuses on discovering, manufacturing and marketing highly effective pest management products for agricultural, institutional and home markets. The company holds a large portfolio of its own proprietary products, as well as actively in-licenses technology that fits into its low chem portfolio. As a leader in green agriculture and the emerging low chem sector, AgraQuest works to provide growers with solutions that offer best in class control while reducing the chemical load on the environment and creating sustainable agriculture opportunities. The Agrochemical division of AgraQuest offers a global portfolio of products -- recognized as safer to beneficials, workers and the environment -- that includes SERENADE®, SERENADE® SOIL, SERENADE® Garden, RHAPSODY®, SONATA®, and BALLAD® fungicides and REQUIEM® insecticide. AgraQuest's BioInnovations division provides the company an avenue to take biological and low-chemical technology created for the agriculture industry and discover innovative uses for it in related markets. The BioInnovations division identifies both appropriate market segments and opportunities for AgraQuest's intellectual property, while seeking industry leaders in ancillary markets to partner in the commercialization and distribution process. AgraQuest has received several environmental awards including the Presidential Green Chemistry Award from the U.S. EPA for the discovery and commercialization of SERENADE. It also received the prestigious Global Frost & Sullivan Growth Leadership Award in 2009 for the biopesticides market. For more information visit www.agraquest.com.