For growers, protecting crops in the field is paramount. For agrichemical companies, providing tools and technologies to make that possible is becoming a much tougher ask in a world of strengthening regulations against conventional chemistries and a serious downturn in consumer opinions regarding chemical interventions. Enter RNAi – touted as the savior of crop protection’s future by many in the industry as a more ‘natural’ bioprotectant. From massive agribusiness players to miniscule start-ups, tech developers are pouring time and money into this would-be golden goose. However, technical difficulties abound and even the most technically skilled developers will face nearly insurmountable regulatory barriers to commercialization. RNAi needs a reality check. The current promises are unachievable, but there is legitimate crop protection potential hiding just underneath those hype dreams.
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