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The global agricultural biologicals market size was valued at USD 10.25 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 11.66 billion in 2022 to USD 29.31 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 14.07% during the forecast period. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited an average growth of 8.31% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Increasing incidences of pest outbreaks in crops, rise in awareness and demand for supreme quality yield from farm produce, and the development of pest resistance to some plant protection products are some of the major factors contributing to the growth of the global market. The exploitation of the environment due to the overuse of crop protection chemicals fosters the demand for biological products. These products can be applied solely or complement synthetic pest-resistant chemicals, which are projected to aid the global agricultural biologicals market growth in the coming years. Furthermore, stringent regulations by agricultural product regulatory bodies and agencies on the use of excessive synthetic or chemical fertilizers are expected to drive the growth of the global market. Increasing investment by key international market players in the development of crop protection substances and crop nutrition products made by using natural sources (due to the growing demand for organic products) is expected to benefit the global market significantly during the forthcoming years.
Disruptions in Supply Chain Due to Enforcement of Trade Restrictions amid COVID-19 to Hamper Market Performance
The sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting the global economy since 2020, as governments across the globe imposed lockdowns and limited the movement of their masses. All the industrial sectors took a massive hit, as their activities were halted, transnational travel stopped, and only essential businesses such as medications and food were permitted to function. The intensity and speed with which the pandemic affected the global economy, and in particular the agriculture and food system, hampered the sales of agricultural biologicals. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the overall agri-exports of the country in the initial seven months of 2020 witnessed a decline of 3.5% compared to 2019. However, the market gradually recovered with the ease of trade barrier restrictions for essential commodities.
Some of the major players in the industry faced a decline in their revenue generation due to the aforementioned factors. For instance, BASF SE registered a decline of around 12% in the second quarter of 2020 to reach USD 14.48 billion, which was attributable to currency fluctuations and trade restrictions. The global market remains to be challenged by the logistical and associated economic impacts of the pandemic. But the effects are uneven across markets, and not all are negative. For instance, the time-being shutdown of Chinese biologicals production plants helped producers based in India, Europe, and North America to fill the void and increase their order intakes. Furthermore, various governments have started to support the utilization of eco-friendly agri-inputs for mitigating the situation by introducing various schemes and subsidiaries to ensure speedy recovery of the farmers and ranchers from the income losses incurred due to the pandemic. For instance, in March 2020, the U.S. government started the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 1), which is estimated to provide up to USD 16 billion to farmers.
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Expanding Selection of Integrated Pest Management Practices for Sustainable Agriculture
The high effectiveness of biopesticides and their environment-friendly nature is aiding their popularity among growers who are adopting integrated pest management practices and are inclined toward using smart and sustainable approaches for protecting their crops. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) has emerged as an effective solution to control and diminish the damage caused by insect pests in agricultural fields. The IPM practice combines the utilization of certain pest control methods such as cultural, chemical, biological, and others. The less toxic nature of bio-pesticides, as compared to their various synthetic counterparts with their comparatively easy-to-apply features, is predicted to widen their demand across countries where the government is trying to reduce the use of toxic chemical pesticides. For instance, in March 2020, Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), an alliance between several European bio-based industries and the EU, awarded a grant of USD 3.61 million for the production of bio-based pesticides for a sustainable agriculture management plan. This is predicted to aid Europe in accomplishing its goal of sustainable agriculture.
Magnitude of Risk Associated with Synthetic Chemicals in Agriculture to Boost Market Growth
Biologicals used in agriculture are fueled by the growing awareness of the detrimental impact on the environment caused by synthetic plant protection substances. The mismanagement in the use of inorganic agricultural inputs, specifically synthetic fertilizers, has led to an increase in the amount of GHGs generated, such as nitrous oxide (N2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4), which significantly urged the farmers and growers to switch to bio-based agri-inputs. Biopesticides and biofertilizers, in contrast to their synthetic counterparts, are less detrimental and are more specific to the target pests. The effectiveness of biopesticides in small amounts also addresses the more pressing issue of pesticide residues and facilitates the integrated pest management process. Furthermore, the cost of production and development timelines for agricultural biologicals is almost 50-60% time as compared to synthetic chemicals. Plant and animal-based waste products, whether fresh or decomposed, are increasingly utilized to produce such natural alternatives, thus paving opportunities for the market to flourish in the forthcoming years.
Transformation in Agricultural Inputs Industry to Augment Growth
The global market is driven by a positive transformation in the agricultural inputs landscape. Factors, such as food security and public health, are intrinsically linked, and globally there has been concretized efforts from all the stakeholders in the agri-food industry to ensure sustainable food production. The amount of Plant Protection Products (PPPs) used has doubled worldwide, although the production of conventional (synthetic) PPPs has decreased owing to stringent regulations and growing awareness of eco-friendly food production. The decline in the utilization of chemical pesticides in agrarian countries such as India is indicative of a strong market potential for agricultural biologicals. Biopesticides can be rightly utilized to prevent a loss of USD 60 billion per year caused by fungal diseases to rice, wheat, and maize alone. In addition, the rise in greenhouse gas emissions through agricultural practices poses a significant threat to biodiversity. According to a report published by Mitsui & Co. Global Strategic Studies Institute, 2021 agricultural emissions account for nearly 23% of the world’s total GHG emissions. These concerns necessitate the use of environmentally safe and sustainable agri-inputs, thereby having a positive impact on the growth of the market.
Lack of Well-defined Regulatory Guidelines for Biologicals to Hamper Market Growth
The major restraint for the global market is the vague and parochial nature of the oversight systems in place globally. The large-scale absence of international harmonization undermines the very purpose for which these agents are developed. There is still no single, globally accepted definition for legal, regulatory, or commercial purposes. For instance, the term “plant biostimulant” has been in use since at least 1997. There is still no single, globally accepted definition for legal, regulatory, or commercial purposes. Similarly, even though biopesticides have been commercially used for over 60 years, there is still an absence of well-established endpoints for risk assessments. Moreover, regulators and risk assessors in a few markets lack expertise. Furthermore, the U.S. and Europe are the two major western markets for agricultural biologicals – yet in the U.S., each state has its own fertilizer laws, and manufacturers need to get separate approval in all the 50 states. Thus, the lack of a comprehensive and distinct regulatory framework is a restraining factor in the market growth.
Biopesticides to Account for Largest Share due to Their Wide Use as Alternative Crop Inputs
By product type, the market is divided into biopesticides, biostimulants, and biofertilizers.
Biopesticides accounted for the largest global agricultural biologicals market share, owing to the increasing focus of farmers and agriculturists on the development of pest resistance products for crops to increase the yield of quality crops. Enhancement in the area under organic farming and growing demand for organic products are further surging the demand for pesticides across the globe. The increasing interest of agriculture industry stakeholders in pest management and the adoption of a safer strategy to manage pest populations are some of the major driving factors of the biopesticides market growth.
Meanwhile, rising investment and the desire to increase output per acre are projected to surge the biostimulant demand. Furthermore, the growing demand for organic food is anticipated to propel the demand for organic farming, thereby propelling the utilization of biostimulants.
Microbial Variant to Emerge as the Dominant Segment Due to its Growing Adoption Among Farmers
By source, the market is bifurcated into microbial and biochemical, with the microbial segment accounting for the major share. The segment is anticipated to retain its dominance throughout the forecast years, owing to the increasing adoption of microbial by farmers to solve various major agricultural issues, such as protection of plants, maintenance of soil health, and increase in crop productivity. Increasing research on various microbes that have the potential to play significant roles in crop protection is further expected to boost the growth and demand for microbial for the preparation of agricultural biologicals during the forecast period.
Biochemicals are agricultural inputs that are derived from biological sources such as food, plants, trees, and biological waste. Thus, they serve as a good substitute for conventional chemicals, along with helping to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Moreover, the use of biochemicals in agriculture can lead to reduced carbon emissions and maintain the ecological balance, which paves the way for the segment to grow.
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Foliar Spray to be Major Segment Due to the Application Convenience Offered by Method
On the basis of application method, the global market is classified into foliar spray, soil treatment, seed treatment, and others. The foliar spray segment held the major share in the market due to the fact that applying agricultural biologicals via foliar spray provides numerous agronomic benefits over others and is the most often used approach due to its simplicity. Furthermore, with the increased adoption of foliar spray by large and small size organic and conventional farmers, the foliar spray segment is predicted to grow.
The soil treatment segment is also observing substantial growth as the demand for effective soil treatment is growing due to decreasing agricultural land available for crop cultivation. In addition, the rising population worldwide instigates the demand for healthy and natural food products. This surges the demand for soil treatment as healthy soil is one of the most important determinants of good nutrition.
Agricultural Biologicals Usage in Row Crops Production to Dominate Market
Based on crop, the market is segmented into row crops, fruits & vegetables, and others. The row crops segment emerged as the leading variant owing to a shift in consumer preference for less processed and organic foods. Pesticide residue issues for consumers are often substantially higher in these crops. As a result, grocery store chains and food marketers are under more pressure to compete on the basis of pesticide residue management. Moreover, farmers are looking for items such as biologicals that can be utilized without adding to pesticide residue problems.
Fruits & vegetables are also observing significant growth prospects due to their growing consumption and attributable health-benefiting factors.
North America Agricultural Biologicals Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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The market is categorized into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa in terms of geography.
North America surfaced as the largest market, accounting for USD 3.33 billion in 2021 in the global marketplace. The demand for biological crop production and crop protection products is rapidly surging due to strict limits on the usage of various synthetic crop protection chemicals as they pose a significant threat to human health as well as the environment. The availability of modern agricultural technologies, equipment, and other resources in North America is likely to promote market growth throughout the projection period. Moreover, the increasing number of organic farms in North American countries is expected to pave new market opportunities. As the global population grows and the need for food rises, the natural resources required for agricultural production will become increasingly limited. Canada's unique natural resources – second in the world in arable land per person and home to 5% of the world's renewable water – present a chance to be a global leader in agricultural production, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Thus, the demand for agricultural biotechnology in the region is driven by this possibility.
Europe is one of the leading consumers of agricultural biologicals, and the region is predicted to perform decently throughout the forecast period. Increasing stringency in the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers across the region and increasing investment by government and key market players in research & development of biologicals are the key factors that are projected to support the market growth. In addition, rapid expansion of the organic market in Europe, especially in countries, such as Germany, Italy, Spain, and Denmark, is leading to the increased use of biofertilizers and biostimulants in the region.
Asia Pacific is anticipated to exhibit significant growth opportunities for the market due to the growing sustainability concerns among consumers and farmers. In major economies of Asia, such as China and India, farming is exhaustively practiced, and with the growing demand for organic agriculture products, there will be a significant rise in the adoption of agricultural biologicals for crop production and protection. Furthermore, governments in Asian countries where farming forms a major share of the economy have increased their efforts to promote sustainable farming, and hence through program launches, tax incentives & exemptions, and subsidy offerings, they are encouraging effective utilization of biofertilizers and biopesticides.
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South America is likely to emerge as the fastest-growing market, and the region is projected to offer strong growth opportunities to the players in the global biologicals market during the forecast period. Countries, such as Argentina and Brazil, where the area under organic farming is growing at a rapid pace, are expected to contribute crucially to fostering the growth of the South American market. The Middle East & African regions are observing sustainability trends, along with seeking solutions to increase crop productivity amidst adverse environmental conditions, which further supports the market growth.
Introduction of Innovative Products is Adopted by Players to Maintain a Competitive Edge
Launching products that satisfy various criteria and standards set by different regional and governmental regulatory authorities or agencies (to commercialize the product) is the key strategy adopted by the players operating in the global biologicals market. These players are actively investing in R&D activities in collaboration with governmental organizations and agricultural research universities to develop advanced and high-quality products for applications across different crop varieties. Development of new and improved products and strategic acquisitions and mergers are being widely adopted by the players to have a competitive edge in the global market. For instance, in February 2021, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation developed Acera, a biopesticide formulated using a mix of two microbial strains Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and Chrysodeixis for providing protection against fall armyworm and soybean looper. Some other key players in the industry are BASF SE, Bayer AG., Novozymes A/S, Syngenta AG, and UPL Ltd.
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The global agricultural biologicals market report on agriculture biologicals provides qualitative and quantitative insights into the market. It also offers a detailed analysis of its type, source, application methods, crop type, market size, and growth rate for all segments possible in the market. Coupled with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of the competitive landscape and market dynamics. Different key insights presented in the research report are an overview of related markets, market segmentation, research methodology, company profiles, and recent industry developments. Along with this, information about mergers & acquisitions, the regulatory scenario in critical countries, and key industry trends are also provided in the research report.
Value (USD Billion)
By Application Method
Fortune Business Insights says that the market was valued at USD 10.25 billion in 2021 and is probable to reach USD 29.31 billion by 2029.
The market is likely to grow at a CAGR of 14.07% the market will exhibit significant growth in the forecast period (2022-2029).
Biopesticides segment is expected to be leading among the types segment in the global market during the forecast period.
The magnitude of risk associated with utilizing synthetic agriculture inputs is one of the key factors driving the market.
BASF SE, Bayer AG., Novozymes A/S, Syngenta AG, and UPL Ltd. are a few of the key players in the market.
North America is expected to hold the highest market share.
The fruits & vegetables segment is anticipated to grow at the fastest pace during the forecast period.
The rising adoption of integrated pest management practices for sustainable agriculture is becoming a prominent trend worldwide.
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