TEL AVIV, ISRAEL and SCHWENTINENTAL, GERMANY--(Marketwired - Jan 24, 2017) - A new bio-pesticide is showing success against the widely spread and destructive parasitic worm, the Root-knot nematode, a major cause of US$80 billion in annual crop damage worldwide.

In tropical and sub-tropical climates, crop production losses attributable to nematodes are estimated at 14.6%, while in the U.S. the figure is close to 25%. They target hundreds of species including tomato, carrots, soybean, cotton, peanuts, grasses and more. The new treatment, independent of plant type, will significantly minimize this damage. Based on a predatory nematode identified by researchers at Israel's Agricultural Research Organization (ARO / Volcani Institute), the treatment is added to the soil whereby the predatory nematode prey on Root-knot nematode eggs.

Funded by Copia Agro & Food Venture Capital Fund, a two-year-old fund investing in agriculture and food technologies developed at leading Israeli research institutes, the nematicide is in initial semi-production phasebythe ARO and Germany's e-Nema GmbH, Copia's industrial partner for this specific project. Copia is currently raising US $50 million to expand its investments in Israeli technologies that will improve food chain sustainability, decrease the negative effects of agriculture on the environment and meet global challenges such as climate change and food shortage.

Though various pesticides can work against Root-knot nematodes, pesticides leave toxic residues and are harmful to soil ecosystems, ground water, humans and animals. The bio-nematicide will offer a non-toxic effective method to combat these pathogens potentially throughout the production season until harvesting.

Eyal Cohen, Managing Partner of Copia Agro-Food Ltd., said, "The novel bio-nematicide agent will offer growers a generic, highly effective and economic tool to dramatically decrease the effects of the Root-knot nematodes. Copia's goal is to increase growers' yield while concurrently avoiding the negative effects of chemicals on the environment. By working with e-Nema's experts, we have chosen the best way to implement the technology and shorten time-to-market."

According to Prof. Ralf-Udo Ehlers, e-Nema's Founder, "Finding a non-toxic and generic solution to nematode infestations is of tremendous value to global agriculture. Bringing this Israeli technology to the market with our development, manufacturing and distribution capabilities, will enable us to further strengthen our market position and enhance global food supplies."

About Copia Agro & Food
Copia is a privately-owned fund that invests in outstanding agricultural and food technologies developed by the leading research institutes in Israel, which carry the promise of significant added value across the food supply chain and address substantial market potential. Based in Israel, Copia leads the technologies transition from research to market readiness by hands-on management and cooperation with prominent industrial partners from the initial stages of development.

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Joshua Shuman

Norman Birnbach