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The global agricultural microbials market size was USD 4.27 billion in 2019. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with agricultural microbials witnessing a negative impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market will exhibit a lower growth of 8.7% in 2020 compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2016-2019. The market is projected to grow from USD 4.64 billion in 2020 to USD 11.81 billion in 2027 at a CAGR of 14.27% during the 2020-2027 period. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Agricultural microbials consist of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses that are beneficial for assisting various agricultural practices such as crop protection and soil improvement. Microbes act as an important active ingredient in various biostimulants that help improve crop yields. In recent times, they have emerged as an effective substitute for synthetic agrochemicals. Moreover, they have functional superiority that encourages crop development by complementing the soil microbiota by enhancing nutrient uptake and increasing soil fertility. This has led to the increasing effort by various governments and market players to promote these types of microbes as sustainable biochemical. The growing awareness and branding among the farmers are factors expected to contribute to the growth of the market.
The increasing popularity of biopesticides and biofertilizers is likely to drive the global market during the forecast period.
Supply Chain Disruption Due to COVID-19 Leads to Slight Decline in Market Growth
The global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to various challenges faced by the global economy and the agriculture sector. The border closures and restricted movements due to lockdown imposition have caused discrepancies in the supply chain. Market closures and interrupted food services have impacted the demand negatively. This has also led to considerable decline and delay in the transportation of agricultural commodities.
However, the market witnessed a mixed scenario in terms of sales of biostimulants and biofertilizers due to some major players witnessing an increase in their product sales. For instance, BASF SE and Syngenta witnessed a growth in their annual sale of biologicals despite the challenging market conditions. Syngenta observed a 2% increase in its overall sales in 2020 compared to the previous year. Furthermore, the various efforts taken up by market players such as Novozymes and Valent Biosciences to launch an educational website for supporting the farmers and promote sustainable crop production is expected to boost its sales in the forthcoming years.
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Strong Emphasis on Organic Agriculture Practices to Stimulate Market Growth
The growing trend of adopting organic farming as an alternative to conventional farming practices to achieve sustainability and lower the negative impact on the environment has contributed to driving the market growth. The promising growth potential of organic agriculture practices is anticipated to complement the growth of these agricultural type of microbials. This is also expected to drive natural plant growth regulators and crop protection products in the forthcoming years. According to a 2019 Organic Survey by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, there has been a rise of 17% in the certified organic farms in the U.S. between 2016 to 2019. The strong emphasis of the government to adopt organic farming has led to increased acceptance of such microbials globally.
Increasing Awareness Regarding Utilization of Synthetic Chemicals to Favor Market Growth
The use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers has shown various detrimental effects on the environment and human health. According to the United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization, synthetic fertilizers account for 13% of the total agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. There have been numerous efforts to improve agricultural management practices as synthetic fertilizers cause widespread damage to the ecology. The prominent players in the market and various government and non-government organizations support sustainable agricultural practices by providing funds and subsidies on agricultural microbials. They help mitigate the efforts and act as a valuable ingredient for enabling sustainable agriculture practices.
Increasing Population and Demand for Food Security to Propel Growth
The adoption of microbials has certain benefits such as increased crop yield, nutrient uptake, and organic cultivation. The ever-growing global population, coupled with increasing demand for sustainable farming, acts as a driver for the market to grow. This is owing to the growing awareness among the general public regarding the harmful effects of synthetic chemicals on health. Along with this, the high demand for microbials to achieve sustainable crop intensification is expected to favor market growth. This has boosted their popularity and demand as a biological source to improve production, and their incorporation in integrated farming practices is likely to narrow the yield gaps. Furthermore, the cost-effectiveness and eco-friendly nature of microbials is expected to fuel the agricultural microbials market growth.
Low Adoption of Product to Impede Market Growth
Besides the various benefits of agricultural microbials, it is witnessed to have relatively low adoption rates than synthetic chemicals. This is mainly due to the lack of awareness and low commercialization of biologicals. Along with this, there are considerable challenges with the utilization of microbes and their mode of application. For instance, the microbial culture used for seed treatment impairs the convenience of sowing seeds. Furthermore, the storage-stability of microbials hinders their effective utilization as they have low on-seed survival rates. Hence, the farmers often refrain from using microbes.
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Bacteria to Hold Major Lead in Industry
The wide utilization of bacteria in formulating biopesticides, biofertilizers, and biostimulants is the main factor expected to boost its demand in the forthcoming years. Bacteria perform various growth-promoting functions in plants, and some even have been implicated as protective bacteria that subdue the root-fungus disease. In addition to this, there are numerous bacteria strains readily available in the environment and are the most commonly found microorganism in the soil (~95%).
The fungi segment holds a significant share in the market as they have proven to be extremely beneficial to the plants by acting as a plant-growth-promoting fungi (PFPF). They have been reported to increase germination, seedling vigor, flowering, and yield, which is expected to contribute to its increased utilization.
Liquid Formulation to Emerge as Most Extensively Used
The liquid formulation of agricultural microbials is anticipated to account for the largest share in the market due to its ease of application. They are comparatively convenient to the dry formulation and can be directly used as sprays, drenches, and root dips. Moreover, they do not require any previous procedures such as mixing, which helps avoid spoilage.
However, the dry formulation of microbials is getting significant traction among the growers owing to its ease of storage, transportation, and longer shelf-life. They are also widely being used for seed treatment. It is effective where moisture from spraying might cause damage and requires simpler application equipment.
Foliar Spray to be Mostly Utilized Application Technique
The foliar spray application technique holds a major share in the market due to its benefits over other application methods. The nutrient uptake is much faster in the foliar spray technique as the foliage rapidly absorbs the nutrients. Hence, providing essential nutrients to the crops. Furthermore, the foliar spray technique is easy to apply, along with acting as a prompt correction treatment of deficiency and diseases in plants.
Crop Protection Segment to Hold Large Market Share
The wide utilization of agricultural microbials for crop protection is expected to drive the segmental growth during the forecast period. The microbial-based solutions have proven to effectively control numerous plant pests and diseases. The farmers have started using these microbes as sustainable and cost-effective solutions for crop protection. Furthermore, its increased adoption in integrated pest management (IPM) practices is likely to increase the demand for microbes.
The adoption of agricultural microbials in soil amendment is growing due to benefits such as increased nitrogen content in soil for better yield. This is expected to boost the growth of the segment in the forthcoming years.
Fruits & Vegetables Segment Projected to Exhibit Fastest Growth
The demand for high-value crops such as fruits and vegetables is rising gradually across the globe due to the high remuneration factor associated with such crops. These microbials help in providing essential nutrients to these crops. Along with this, the surging demand for organic fruits and vegetables is likely to promote the utilization of the microbials for their cultivation. Furthermore, microbials for fruits and vegetable cultivation are much more economical. This is projected to boost its demand during the forecast period.
Other crops such as cereals and pulses & oilseeds turn towards adopting microbials to achieve higher yields and sustainability. Microbes such as fungi and bacteria help increase photosynthesis in cereal crops such as rice. It also aids in increasing crop survival in drought and nutrient limitation like conditions. While in oilseeds and pulses, they support effective nutrient uptake, nodulation, seed yield, and plant growth.
North America Agricultural Microbials Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)
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North America accounted for the largest agricultural microbials market share and stood at USD 1.69 billion in 2019. This is owing to the increasing awareness among farmers about the environmental benefits of such microbials and the rising adoption of organic farming practices. The region is promoting the utilization of microbes by enabling policy and regulatory frameworks. Agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) encourage research and development activities to achieve microbial diversity and provide long-term availability of plant-associated microbes. Furthermore, the prominent players operating in the region are capitalizing on launching new products and strategic partnerships for providing microbial solutions to achieve efficient and sustainable farming.
Europe is projected to account for the second-largest market share during the forecast period. The stringent regulations and harmful effects of synthetic chemicals have led to the shift towards microbials, which is expected to drive the market. The rapid expansion of organic farming in countries such as Germany, Italy, Denmark, and Spain has led to the increasing utilization of biopesticides and biofertilizers.
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South America is expected to emerge as the fastest-growing region as the farmers have started to replace chemical fertilizers with microbials, which is anticipated to boost its regional sales. Furthermore, the high profitability of organic farming and the increasing support from government and non-government organizations are expected to fuel market growth.
The rising awareness regarding the benefits of microbial-based crop protection products and their ability to improve soil fertility in Asia Pacific supports the overall market growth. Countries such as India and China are majorly agriculture-dependent, and it contributes a significant share in their GDPs. Furthermore, these countries have started prioritizing environmental protection and restoration, which has led to the adoption of agricultural microbials. Thus, it is expected to open untapped opportunities for the agri-microbes to flourish in the region.
The Middle East and Africa is experiencing significant traction towards these microbes to reduce and even replace synthetic agrochemicals. The farmers and producers have started to adopt agri microbes as safe agricultural inputs. This is expected to contribute to the regional market growth during the forecast period.
Increasing Focus on Research and New Product Launches for Portfolio Broadening by Key Players
The global agricultural microbials market is consolidated with the presence of prominent players worldwide. Companies such as Certis USA LLC, Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc., Koppert Biological Systems, BASF SE, and Valent Biosciences, LLC are focusing on research and development of new product developments to widen their portfolio and maintain their strong foothold in the global marketplace.
An Infographic Representation of Agricultural Microbial Market
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The global agricultural microbials market research report provides qualitative and quantitative insights into the market. It also offers a detailed analysis of the market size and growth rate for all possible market segments. Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of the market dynamics and competitive landscape. Various key insights are an overview of related markets, recent industry developments such as mergers & acquisitions, the regulatory scenario in critical countries, and key industry trends.
Value (USD Billion)
By Application Method
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 4.27 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 11.81 billion by 2027.
Growing at a CAGR of 14.27%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2020-2027).
Based on type, the bacteria segment is expected to be the leading segment during the forecast period.
The increasing population and the growing demand for achieving food security are the factors majorly driving the market growth.
Certis USA LLC, Marrone Bio Innovations, Koppert Biological Systems, BASF SE, and Valent Biosciences, LLC, are a few of the key players in the market.
North America dominated the market share in 2019.
The foliar spray application segment is expected to be the leading segment in the market during the forecast period.
New product launches, extensive focus on research, and collaboration are the key trends driving the market growth.
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