TerViva - Trees
After years of development, TerViva launched its first crop in 2011: a leguminous tree called pongamia pinnata ('pongamia'). Native to India and Australia, pongamia is a long-living tree that produces an annual harvest of seeds that are similar to soybeans. These trees require less water and fertilizer than other crops, such as soy or palm, and sequester carbon.
TerViva develops and distributes commercial varieties of pongamia. These trees yield seed oil that is well suited for conversion to biofuel or chemicals, high-protein de-oiled seed cake suitable for animal feed and pods composed of biomass suitable for bio-power production.
Because pongamia trees are legumes, they can thrive on land ill-suited for the production of high value food crops. As a result, renewable products from pongamia trees avoid the highly charged fuel vs. food debate. In addition to the oil, the protein rich seedcake (residue from seed after oil pressing) can be used as a soil amendment and shows potential to be used for animal feed.
TerViva has compiled an exclusive library of high-yielding, patentable pongamia genetics from around the world and has developed propagation techniques for scalable, consistent results. The core of the IP platform is the elite pongamia genetics, which are iteratively advanced through a number of exclusive partnerships. TerViva is also working on a molecular marker program to identify traits for breeding, such as oil yield and salt tolerance.