German chemical and biotech giant BASF expects to start selling a new insecticide in Australia and Korea by 2023, the company announced on 12 January.

The company said it was also planning future sales of the Axalion product in the European Union (EU), Brazil, India and other countries.

Pending regulatory approvals, the insecticide will be registered for use in a range of crops, including soyabeans, cereals and potatoes.

BASF currently supplies the oils and fats market with Credenz and LibertyLink soyabean varieties, as well as InVigor canola hybrids, along with crop protection products.

Harold Bastiaans, vice president insecticide research at BASF’s agricultural solutions division, said that the company’s new Axalion insecticide was effective on pests that were harmful to crops. “At the same time, it is highly compatible with beneficial insects, including pollinators,” he added.

BASF said Axalion’s ability to spread within the plant meant it would help control of a range of pests, including whiteflies and aphids.

Axalion worked by stopping insect pests from feeding, the company said, which reduced nutrient loss for the plant and prevented the pests from transmitting diseases.

It worked without negatively impacting soil and water organism or birds, BASF said, and when applied as instructed would not affect beneficial insects.

BASF said the new product was an example of how the company was integrating sustainability criteria into its research and development process.

As part of its innovation pipeline for sustainable agriculture, the company said it would be launching more than 30 R&D projects by 2030.

“Sustainability is engrained in our entire R&D process. It leads the way in how we develop our innovations, which support farmers produce more and better while preserving natural resources,” BASF’s agricultural solutions division president Vincent Gros said.

As part of its commitment to achieving its sustainability targets for its agriculture business by 2030, BASF said it would also support farmers in reducing their CO₂ emissions by 30% per tonne of crop produced.

The company said it was also aiming to apply digital technologies on more than 400M ha of farmland by 2030 while continuing to ensure the safe use of its products.