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Poultry agri-tech firms win funding to boost sustainability

Devenish (UK) received nearly £400,000 to develop algae-derived products for use in poultry production globally. Arden Biotech also received funding.

The key objective of the project is to develop a more sustainably produced nutrient-dense chicken that will provide a rich source of omega-3 oils in the human diet, as well as enhancing poultry production.

The key objective of the project is to develop a more sustainably produced nutrient-dense chicken that will provide a rich source of omega-3 oils in the human diet, as well as enhancing poultry production. Photo: Henk Riswick
The key objective of the project is to develop a more sustainably produced nutrient-dense chicken that will provide a rich source of omega-3 oils in the human diet, as well as enhancing poultry production. Photo: Henk Riswick

The project consortium, which includes Mara Renewables Corporation, envisages that the results of the technology will also be applicable to other areas of primary agriculture, including pigs and aquaculture and also expand access to essential lipids in human diets.

Commercial on farm studies in both the UK and Canada will use a range of sensors and electronic big data to prove the validity of this approach to poultry farming. Anticipated commercial markets include South America and Australasia.

Meanwhile, Arden Biotech has been given funding of nearly £250,000 to further develop a new bacteriophage cocktail, a natural feed supplement which is designed to:

  • Combat clostridium perfringens
  • Enhance gut health
  • Reduce the risk of necrotic enteritis

The 2-year industrial research project involves partner TrustBIX Inc and Arden is keen to extend the technology to apply to the Canadian poultry and other livestock sector.

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The funding is part of a £2.2m package to 7 agri-tech firms to develop new agricultural techniques that will help countries meet their net zero emission targets. It is being awarded through UK Research and Innovation’s UK Canada: enhancing agricultural productivity and sustainability competition.

The winning projects had to demonstrate a clear plan to improve productivity, increase sustainability, help move towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2040, show market awareness, and develop a commercial plan.

Katrina Hayter, challenge director for the Transforming Food Production programme at UKRI, said the UK companies and their Canadian partners were working on an exciting array of projects that could help improve productivity and sustainability: “Ultimately, making our respective agricultural systems more climate friendly,” she said.