Australia’s clean technology investment agency is taking a punt on an ambitious venture to tackle climate change, planting soil microbes in farm paddocks to capture carbon from the atmosphere and reduce global warming.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation will invest $1.7 million in biotechnology developer Soil Carbon Company, which is working on a treatment for grass and crop seeds. The company’s funding drive attracted $10 million in total.
It will put the funds toward commercialisation of a product, based on existing technology, that treats seeds with microbial fungi and bacteria. The treatment is designed to change the way the seed reacts with the soil, and increase the amount of carbon it captures from the air and sequesters in the ground as it grows into a crop.
“Australian farmers are keen early adopters of technology and look to science to improve the productivity of their land,” Clean Energy Finance Corporation chief executive Ian Learmonth said.