North Carolina Specialty Crop Production

PhytoPharmacon INC offer alternative specialty crops that may be suitable for small and large scale farming. PhytoPharmacon has developed several medicinal plants as an alternate crop for the diminishing NC tobacco crops. The introduction of these new specialty crops has provided alternative income benefit to former tobacco farmers, and will also in the near future generate high quality jobs in bio-processing, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries for NC residents. These new crops can provide incentives to farmers to grow alternative crops that are more profitable than those currently being cultivated. The development of an alternate crop can alleviate and avoid unemployment in the tobacco-related sector of the state’s agricultural economy, preserve and increase the local tax base in agricultural areas; encourage the economic stability of participants in the state’s agricultural economy; and optimally use natural resources in the tobacco-related segment of the state’s agricultural economy

PhytoPharmacon is committed to the introduction of a portfolio of botanically derived products ranging from nutraceutical to prescription botanical to market. These medicinally useful plants will be grown locally in NC by the farmers as alternate crops for tobacco. The medicinal herb Coleus barbatus is our lead botanical and the company has additional botanicals under different stages of development as dietary supplements, medial foods, and cosmetic products and ingredients.

The development of medicinal plants as alternate crops for tobacco can not only provide benefits to the tobacco farmers but also generate high quality jobs in bio-processing, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries. PhytoPharmacon has identified a high Forskolin yielding medicinal herb that grows in the temperate conditions of North Carolina, and has optimized agricultural practices and processes to improve the Forskolin yield. The lead Coleus program targets NC with a specific focus on Eastern and Northeastern NC. Rationale for selection of these areas includes the presence of sandy soils which are conducive to the growth of Coleus’ rhizome and roots (source for the active ingredient). The flue-cured tobacco barn capacity of which will be used to dry the crop prior to processing (NE), and existing medicinal herb and plant based bio-processing expertise in the region (NE and E).

The eastern NC farming community has continued to be challenged in the last decade by a number of powerful forces, including natural disasters, regulatory pressures and events in foreign markets. As a result, the number of farms and the number of farm jobs are declining rapidly. One underlying cause is the value of all agribusiness-related production and distribution continues to increase in North Carolina, the farmer's share has remained relatively flat. The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released in 2007, found that there are fewer farms growing field crops in 2007 compared with 2002. Tobacco farms are down nearly 70% and totaled just over 2,600, compared with nearly 8,000 in 2002.

PhytoPharmacon believes the best way to keep agricultural land in production, is to keep the small tobacco farms profitable. Putting fallow lands back into agricultural production contributes to local economic development. The productivity of small farm agriculture can provide community benefits such as higher farmer revenues and tax revenues, generated from the larger per-acre income yields. Growing of proprietary specialty crops offers opportunities for North Carolina farmers to diversify and supplement farm income. The goal of PhytoPharmacon as a company is to introduce to framers in North Carolina new potential crops in this market. This training and employment and partnering opportunity will teach these farmers new cultivation techniques for this type of new crops. Through partnering, education, outreach, and research, promising proprietary crops will become established alternatives for growers in North Carolina. PhytoPharmacon will continue to provide farmers incentives to grow alternative crops that are more profitable than those currently being cultivated including tobacco. The cultivation of an alternate crop will increase the local tax base in agricultural areas; encourage the economic stability of participants in the state’s agricultural economy; and optimally use natural resources.

The company plans to expand its operations to support the production of 500 acres of this patented crop by 2013 Ultimately the company plans to reach 5000 acres of production of this crop by 2015 PhytoPharmacon is committed to becoming one of the largest agricultural employer’s in NC by growing and creating alternative opportunities for the local eastern NC farmers.