Dr. Willard’s® is proud to announce that our CEO, John Willard III, just signed an official document with ACDI/ VOCA in Washington, D.C. This partnership will allow Dr. Willard’s® to conduct trials of our agricultural product, PlantCatalyst®, on small shareholder farms in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Increasing widespread poverty, coupled with natural disasters, has made it a primary focus of the international aid community to increase profit margins and production for farmers. For several decades, the plan was to increase farmers’ usage of conventional fertilizers, as it was thought that better yield per acre would result in more crops, which would help to eliminate hunger and increase profits on the sale of the crops.
In the short term, the conventional fertilizer approach worked, resulting in more production per acre and increased profit margins in nearly all targeted developing nations. While conventional fertilizers provide plants with a jolt of nutrients, like nitrogen and potassium, to increase growth and yield, they don’t replenish the nutrient content of the soil. These solutions promote plant growth; however, each growth cycle leads to crops that have less and less nutrients. In the short term, more and more fertilizer is required to maintain the same yield, which increases costs. However, in the long term, the soil will eventually become so depleted that it can no longer support crops at all.
This, along with a number of other unforeseen problems, including the increasing environmental impact stemming from fertilizer/pesticide runoff and greenhouse gas emissions from nitrogen in the fertilizer, requires a new approach to traditional small shareholder farming practices.
These farmers don’t have the skills nor the means to engage in more modern sustainable farming practices such as crop rotation and fallow fields, as practiced in other more developed countries. Therefore, problems with using conventional fertilizers are multiplying with each successive growth cycle. As a result, in the last few years, the international aid community has refocused its priorities in order to address this crisis. Their goal is to develop a comprehensive set of solutions that maintain yield without sacrificing the environment or reducing efficiency.
How Dr. Willard’s® Can Help
The history of our company started in 1965, when the founder, Dr. John Willard, invented a catalyst that altered water’s molecular structure. This formula is a complex solution, consisting of natural ingredients, that, when added to water, appears to transform the water to become a more efficient delivery system. In 1973, he formed Catalyst Activated Water (CAW) Industries, Inc., a company that sold his invention.
Numerous studies in prestigious universities have proven time and time again that the mechanisms in this formula positively affect a variety of organic functions. The most notable benefit is the promotion of nutrient delivery, retention and utilization of vitamins and nutrients in the cells.
All living beings can benefit from Dr. Willard’s Water®, including people, animals and plants. Our agricultural line, PlantCatalyst®, allows plants to better absorb and utilize nutrients, allowing growers to reduce fertilizer usage by 30 to 50 percent, while also increasing yield by 10 percent or more per acre.
PlantCatalyst® is made from natural ingredients, is safe and non-toxic; it will not deplete nutrients in the soil nor harm the environment. Studies show that using our product helps with germination, decreases growth times, and increases yield per acre.
Third party studies on the benefits of PlantCatalyst® have been conducted since the 1970’s, and every decade thereafter. The most recent study was published in July’s issue of the American Journal of Plant Nutrition and Fertilization Technology. The study proved that adding a mere two ounces of PlantCatalyst® to a greenhouse’s water reservoir (50 gallons) increased yield on lettuce by 13 percent, tomatoes by 24 percent, bell peppers by 48 percent and jalapeno peppers by 52 percent. What’s interesting is that only half of the recommended rates of fertilizer were used for this study.
After realizing the true potential of PlantCatalyst® to change agricultural practices around the world, John Willard III contracted with his friend, Joe Miklosi, who has worked in the international aid community for several years, to focus their efforts on USAID, USDA and various non-profit organizations.
PlantCatalyst® can significantly increase the profit margin for small shareholder farmers. The price point of our product to the farmer is $25 per quart. An ounce of PlantCatalyst® added to a one-gallon sprayer, applied once per week, would last through one to two growing cycles. This allows farmers to reduce fertilizer costs by up to a couple hundred dollars per cycle.
ACDI/VOCA administers around $160 million in agricultural development grants every year; they are funded by variety of sources, including the USAID, other countries, and corporate sponsorships. This non-profit Washington, D.C.-based organization works in Africa; in Zambia they are administering a USAID funded program called Profit+; in Mozambique they are administering a private grant called the LEAD program.
In February, ACDI/VOCA expressed an interest in partnering with Dr. Willard’s® to conduct trials using PlantCatalyst® in Zambia and Mozambique. As a result, John traveled to those two countries in July in order to identify and develop a series of test trials that would reflect standard farming practices in each country.
The trials will begin soon in Mozambique, while the Zambian trials will start when the rainy season ensues in the fall fall. Results of the trial should be available in a year’s time.