August 31, 2022

SynecO to Start a Project in Ecuador
-Implementing Synecoculture™ based on Augmented Ecosystems at Cacao Farms-

SynecO, Inc. (President and Representative Director: Masatoshi Funabashi; hereafter, SynecO) announced that it has started a joint project to implement Synecoculture based on augmented ecosystems at a cacao farm in Ecuador.

In this project, over the course of approximately one year from April 2022, SynecO will support establishing a Synecoculture field within the farm of Inmobiliaria Guangala S.A., one of Itochu Corporation’s cacao bean procurement partners, to confirm its multiple effectiveness as augmented ecosystem. Specifically, around 200 useful plant species will be introduced among the cacao trees—the goal is to improve food production and biodiversity, which will then generate a wide range of added value, all without the use of agrochemicals or fertilizers. The destruction of ecosystems is a grave concern in Latin America, and Itochu is planning to procure sustainable supplies of cacao beans through the introduction of Synecoculture there. SynecO also intends to run a pilot project to demonstrate carbon sequestration that can be expected along with the improvement of biodiversity and ecosystem services

About augmented ecosystems
An ecosystem where both diversity and function have been augmented by human intervention beyond its natural state. SynecO offers Synecoculture, a method of producing useful plants, by planting a wide variety of species in high density and utilizing self-organizing abilities already existent in ecosystems. It aims to recover and augment biodiversity, while producing food, and without the use of plowing, fertilizers, and agrochemicals.

Comment from Masatoshi Funabashi, President and Representative Director of SynecO, Inc.
The forests of Central and South America are home to globally important biodiversity but are in danger of large-scale loss due to logging, fires, and development pressure from agriculture. We hope that the realization of augmented ecosystem in cacao farms, one of the major industries in the region, will be the first step toward the creation of a new type of industry that will restore and enhance biodiversity through human activities and increase adaptive capacity to climate change.

About SynecO, Inc.
Established in April 2021, SynecO is the inaugural project of Sony Innovation Fund: Environment, a Sony Group Corporation venture capital fund. SynecO promotes businesses focused on Synecoculture and other environmental technologies related to augmented ecosystems. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Group Corporation.

* Synecoculture is a trademark of Sony Group Corporation.

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