The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) recently revealed that pioneering Costa Rican company, BioTech, is developing groundbreaking natural alternatives to traditional chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
Founded by visionary entrepreneur Lizzy Retana Villalobos, BioTech is at the forefront of implementing innovative biotech solutions that preserve the ecological balance of soil health while promoting agricultural sustainability in our uniquely biodiverse nation.
Despite its relatively small land area, Costa Rica is ranked among the 20 most biodiverse countries globally, housing nearly 6.5 percent of estimated total species on Earth. But preserving this environmental uniqueness has posed increasing challenges over recent decades, especially for the nation’s farming sector. Farmers have grappled to maintain productivity levels and yields, prompting growing reliance on agrochemicals over more sustainable practices.
In direct response to this situation, BioTech has centered its entire mission around creating nature-based agricultural solutions tailored to Costa Rica’s ecological needs. “At BioTech, we see ourselves as plant doctors – instead of eradicating harmful soil microbes with chemicals, we focus on leveraging microbial tools that equip crops to outcompete pathogens themselves,” explained co-founder Retana Villalobos.
Harnessing antifungal bacteria, Beneficial Fungal Endophytes and other biostimulation techniques, their suite of products provide customized and sustainable solutions to pests and diseases afflicting key Costa Rican export crops like pineapple, banana, coffee, palm oil as well as rice, melon and ornamental flowers.
Retana highlighted that BioTech goes beyond just sustainability to actively regenerate farmland ecology. “We develop bioproducts centered on beneficial microorganisms because plants metabolize better with the symbiotic assistance of naturally occurring fungi or bacteria, rather than relying solely on synthetic chemical inputs. This way, we are helping to proactively restore and enhance the natural balance and biodiversity of agricultural soil.”
A flagship BioTech product utilizes high natural concentrations of Trichoderma fungus for example – well-known for combating soil-borne crop diseases, reducing agrochemical pollution and dynamically boosting plant resilience and growth efficiency.
And the company refuses to ever jeopardize the wellbeing of vital pollinators like bees. “It is essential that agricultural inputs do not negatively impact or threaten these key creatures,” emphasized Retana Villalobos.
With Costa Rica leading the way globally in environmental conservation and ecological sustainability, the inspirational rise of BioTech showcases perfectly how homegrown innovation and entrepreneurship can flourish symbiotically alongside protecting our country’s spectacular biodiversity and natural heritage.