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The global agricultural biologicals market size was valued at USD 11.73 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 13.35 billion in 2023 to USD 33.69 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 14.14% during the forecast period.
The exploitation of the environment due to overuse of crop protection chemicals will foster the demand for biological products. These products can be applied solely or in combination with synthetic pest-resistant chemicals. Their widespread applications in agriculture are projected to boost the global agricultural biologicals market growth in the coming years. The incidence of pest outbreaks is increasing in crops and there is a notable rise in awareness of the benefits of agricultural biologicals. Moreover, there is high demand for supreme quality yield and pest-resistant plant protection products are being developed on a large scale. These are some of the major factors contributing to the growth of the global market.
Disruptions in the Supply Chain Due to Enforcement of Trade Restrictions amid COVID-19 Hampered Market Performance
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic affected the global economy in 2020 as governments across the globe imposed lockdowns and placed travel restrictions. All the industrial sectors were adversely affected as their activities were halted, international travel was stopped and only essential businesses, such as medicines and food were permitted to function. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the total agri-exports of the country in the initial seven months of 2020 witnessed a decline of 3.5% as compared to 2019. However, the market is gradually recovering with the ease in 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. This decline was attributed to extreme currency fluctuations and trade restrictions. The global market’s growth was also challenged by the logistical and related economic impacts of the pandemic. But the effects were uneven across markets, and not all of them were negative. For instance, the temporary shutdown of Chinese biologicals production plants helped producers based in India, Europe, and North America fill the void and increase their order intakes. Furthermore, various governments started supporting the utilization of eco-friendly agri-inputs to cause minimum negative impact on the environment. They also introduced various schemes and subsidies to ensure the speedy recovery of farmers and ranchers from 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 was estimated to provide up to USD 16 billion to farmers.
Increasing Adoption of Integrated Pest Management Practices for Sustainable Agriculture
The high effectiveness of biopesticides and their eco-friendly nature are aiding their popularity among farmers who are adopting integrated pest management practices and 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 insects and pests in agricultural fields. The IPM approach uses certain pest control methods, such as cultural, chemical, biological, and others. The less toxic nature of biopesticides as compared to their synthetic counterparts and their comparatively easy-to-apply features are predicted to increase their demand across countries where governments are 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 eco-friendly pesticides. The grant was also given to create a sustainable agriculture management plan. These initiatives are predicted to aid Europe in accomplishing its goal of sustainable agriculture.
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Increasing Production of Horticulture Crops and Cereal Crops to Support Market Growth
The global production of fruits, vegetables, and cereals is growing steadily. With the rise in disposable income in developed and emerging economies, the demand for high-quality fruits and vegetables is increasing rapidly. As per data provided by the FAOSTAT, the global production of fruits amounted to 805.77 million tonnes in 2020, while the production of vegetables amounted to 1,081.43 million tonnes in the same year. Using agricultural biologicals helps improve soil fertility and increase microbial content by replenishing the population of microorganisms in the soil. Thus, the use of such products in combination with other products can improve crop yields and maintain soil health. Several agricultural crops had shown increased crop yield when biofertilizers were used. The use of such fertilizers helps reduce dependence on mineral fertilizers and can be suitable for soils with low nutrient content. Hence, these fertilizers can be used for cultivating a wide range of crops and also in soils with low nutrient content.
Risks Associated with Using Synthetic Chemicals in Agriculture to Boost Market Growth
Biopesticides, in contrast to their synthetic counterparts, are less detrimental and more specific to the target pests. They are promising alternatives to chemical pesticides, and do not leave any residue which can negatively impact the environment. Biopesticides help address the more pressing issue of pesticide residues and facilitate the adoption of an integrated pest management process. The application of chemical pesticides on crops by agricultural workers harms the human body and causes several health disorders, such as muscle twitching, weakness, tremors, and other medical conditions. According to data published by the Mitsui & Co. Global Strategic Studies Institute in 2021, around 44% of the world’s agricultural workers suffer from acute pesticide poisoning yearly.
Lack of Well-Defined Regulatory Guidelines for Biologicals to Hamper Market Growth
A major restraint for the global market is the vague nature and limited scope of regulatory systems across the world. The absence of international harmonization undermines the very purpose for which these governing bodies have been formed. There is still no single, globally accepted definition for agricultural biologicals for legal, regulatory, or commercial purposes. For instance, the term “plant biostimulant” has been in use since at least 1997.
Moreover, the commercialization of novel biostimulants and biopesticides is lagging significantly. Biopesticides have also not attained the desired level of use to decrease the dominance of chemical pesticides in the global marketplace. The traditional agri-inputs market is well-structured at a global level with a prominent presence of key companies. However, the biologicals space is characterized by several start-ups that are struggling with adequate funding, appropriate infrastructure, and market penetration. The R&D activities undertaken by these small players also fail to sense the demand dynamics of a particular geography.
Biopesticides Gained Traction Due to Their Wide Use as Alternative Crop Inputs
By product type, the market is divided into biopesticides, biostimulants, and biofertilizers.
The biopesticides segment accounted for the largest global agricultural biologicals market share owing to the increasing focus of farmers and agriculturists on the development of pest-resistant products to increase the yield of high-quality crops. Advancements in organic farming and growing demand for eco-friendly products are further surging the demand for biopesticides across the globe. The increasing interest of stakeholders in the agriculture industry in pest management and adoption of a safer strategy to manage the pest population are some of the major factors driving the segment’s growth.
Meanwhile, rising investment and the desire to increase output per acre are projected to surge the demand for biostimulants. Furthermore, the growing need for organic foods is anticipated to propel the demand for organic farming, thereby boosting the utilization of biostimulants.
Microbial Biologicals to Become Popular Due to Their Growing Adoption Among Farmers
By source, the market is bifurcated into microbial and biochemical, with the microbial segment accounting for the major market share. The segment is anticipated to retain its dominance throughout the forecast period owing to the increasing adoption of microbials by farmers to solve various major agricultural issues. These issues include 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 segment’s growth during the forecast period.
The biochemicals segment is also projected to grow steadily in the future. Biochemicals are agricultural inputs derived from biological sources, such as food, plants, trees, and biological waste. Thus, they serve as a good substitute for conventional chemicals and help reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Moreover, the use of biochemicals in agriculture can decrease carbon emissions and maintain the ecological balance, which will pave the way for the segment’s growth.
Foliar Spray to Witnessed a Robust Demand Due to 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 a major share in the market due to the fact that applying agricultural biologicals with foliar spray provides numerous agronomic benefits over others and is the most commonly used approach due to its simplicity. Furthermore, the increased adoption of foliar spray by large and small-size organic and conventional farmers will help the segment grow.
The soil treatment segment is also observing substantial growth as the demand for effective soil treatment is growing due to the decrease in agricultural land available for crop cultivation. In addition, the rising global population has catalyzed the demand for healthy and natural food products. This factor will fuel the demand for soil treatment solutions as healthy soil is one of the most important determinants of good nutrition.
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Usage of Agricultural Biologicals to Increase in Row Crops Due to Growing Preference for Organic Foods
Based on crop, the market is segmented into row crops, fruits & vegetables, and others.
The row crops segment emerged as the leading segment owing to a rise in consumer preference for less processed and organic foods. Pesticide residues 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 products, such as biologicals that can be utilized without increasing pesticide residue problems.
The fruits & vegetables segment is also observing significant growth due to their growing consumption and health-promoting factors.
The market is categorized into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa in terms of geography.
North America Agricultural Biologicals Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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North America held the largest market share in the global marketplace, recording a valuation of USD 3.79 billion in 2022. The growth of this market in the U.S. is predicted to be fueled by various factors. These include the increasing acreage for field crops, such as wheat, cotton, and soybeans, and a worrying rise in plant diseases and infections. Drastic changes in the climate and rising emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) have become major concerns for the agriculture sector. This scenario has boosted the efforts toward research and development initiatives to boost crop yield. Other factors, such as availability of financial resources, quicker access to affordable agri-inputs, better education & training of farmers, and others are increasing the adoption of sustainable farming techniques. Moreover, the trend of clean eating is driving a significant change in the North American food & beverage and agriculture industries.
Europe is one of the leading consumers of agricultural biologicals, and the region is predicted to perform decently throughout the forecast period. The growing prices of nitrogen and phosphorous-based chemical fertilizers and increasing awareness regarding their negative impacts on the environment and human health are accelerating the use of these products in the region. The increase in product launches in the region by significant market players, such as Bayer Ag, BASF SE, Valagro S.p.A., and others, and expansion of production capacities are helping the regional market grow. Moreover, adoption of advanced technologies to produce agricultural biologicals, such as biofertilizers and biostimulants in bulk with least investment and within less time is expected to boost the regional market growth.
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Asia Pacific is anticipated to exhibit significant growth opportunities for the market due to the growing sustainability concerns among consumers and farmers. The governments in China, India, and other Asian countries are developing plans to encourage better and more efficient pesticide production and also encourage farmers to adopt such products to protect their crops. For instance, China launched the “Action Plan to Realize Zero Growth in Pesticide Use by 2020”. This plan supported the manufacturing of different types of biopesticides, such as using microbial strains, such as Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus subtilis, Helicoverpa armigera nuclear polyhedrosis virus, Metarhizium anisopliae, and Paenibacillus polymyxa. The proactive efforts by Asian companies, such as UPL Limited and increasing interest of companies, such as BASF SE, Bayer Ag, and Syngenta in the launch of agricultural biologicals are expected to bolster the Asia Pacific market growth.
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 considerably to the growth of the South American market. The Brazilian government also launched programs to support the growth of the biofertlizer industry in the country. In 2020, The country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA) launched a “Bio-input Program”, which explored the potential of Brazilian biodiversity and reduce farmers’ dependence on imported agri products. Such programs will help enhance the production of high-quality and reliable biofertilizers, which, in turn, is expected to improve farming and increase crop yield, thereby supporting the regional market’s growth.
The Middle East & Africa is observing a rise in sustainability trends. Farmers across these regions are seeking solutions to increase crop productivity amidst adverse environmental conditions. These factors will support the regional market growth. As the Russia-Ukraine war disrupted the wheat supply chain, the production of wheat in the African region increased by 60%, as per the African Development Bank (AfDB). Thus, the demand for agricultural biologicals, which help ensure better yield, is expected to increase in these regions in the future.
Key Market Players Consolidated Product Portfolios via Joint Ventures and Partnerships to Aid in Maintaining Strong Competitive Edge
The global market exhibits a moderately consolidated structure due to the presence of several well-established and emerging companies. The prominent companies hold a significant share of the market owing to their huge client base, strong brand loyalty & distribution network, and growing global food production. In recent years, alliances between major agrochemical companies indicate increasing competition in the market. The large agrochemical firms have optimized and consolidated their product portfolios via joint ventures and partnerships, which have evolved as some of the major strategies adopted by them in recent years. Apart from improving their current product portfolio, collaboration deals have also helped companies increase their geographical presence, especially in countries where they didn't have a strong distributor network. Startups can compete with the increasing competition by providing free samples to end-users. In August 2022, BASF inaugurated a regional production site for its agricultural solutions business. The facility is designed to handle six different formulation technologies and enabled BASF to supply crop protection products to farmers across Asia Pacific from a strategic location in the region. The site had an initial production capacity of 7,000 kl per year and it now has four production facilities in the region.
The report on agriculture biologicals market provides qualitative and quantitative insights into the market. It also offers a detailed analysis of the types, sources, application methods, crop types, market size, and growth rate for all possible segments in the market. Along 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, regulatory scenario in key countries, and leading industry trends are also provided in the research report.
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Value (USD Billion)
CAGR of 14.14% from 2023 to 2030
By Application Method
Fortune Business Insights says that the market size was valued at USD 11.73 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 33.69 billion by 2030.
The market is likely to record a CAGR of 14.14% the market will exhibit significant growth during the forecast period of 2023-2030.
The biopesticides segment led the segment by type in the global market.
Increase in the production of horticulture crops and cereal crops 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 row crops 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 global trend.
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