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The global biostimulants market size was valued at USD 2.85 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 3.14 billion in 2022 to USD 6.69 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 11.43% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a lower growth of 5.09% in 2020 compared to 2019.
The global inorganic fertilizers (primary nutrients) industry is growing at 1.3-1.8% annually. The prominent market players are focusing on various lucrative product areas, such as specialty fertilizers and organic fertilizer segments, considering the growth opportunities in these segments. Additionally, the crop producers are demanding products with a high level of nutrient value, multi-functionality, and environment-friendly. All these factors indicate a promising future for the biostimulants market growth globally.
Disruptions in Supply Chain to Slow Down Growth amid Pandemic
The outburst of the pandemic has impacted almost all industries while impacting the agriculture sector at different levels. To halt the spread of the disease, several countries imposed complete or partial lockdowns, which initially resulted in a slowdown in production and caused disruptions in the product's supply chain. Various raw materials are utilized to prepare biostimulants such as protein hydrolysates, amino acids, and others. The strict travel restrictions implemented in the initial months of the pandemic outbreak made transporting these raw materials difficult.
The leading market players witnessed a slight decline in their crop protection product segment's revenue generated during 2020. For instance, Bayer AG, a German multinational life sciences company, saw a 5% decrease in sales of their crop sciences products in 2020 compared to 2019. Furthermore, Southern Petrochemical Industries Corporation (SPIC) Limited one of India's pioneer agro-nutrients and fertilizer companies, witnessed a revenue decline of 26.55% in F.Y. 2020-21, as the pandemic disrupted the supply chain of agro-inputs.
The increasing demand for bio-based, safe, and sustainable agri-inputs is expected to surge the demand for the product at a decent pace. Moreover, with continuous efforts of key players in this market, such as Syngenta and Novozymes, to remain operational with the adoption of safety measures, this market is anticipated to attain stability and flourish in the coming months.
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Burgeoning Demand for Bio-based Agri-Inputs to Aid Market Growth
The growing production of organic food and feed products without the adoption of good fertilizers combined with the hazardous effects of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides has raised questions about agriculture's environmental safety and sustainability in the long run. The use of organic and bio-based compounds in agriculture and forestry offers a significant opportunity for farmers to improve root and shoot growth, better growth potential, and stress resistance. According to the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), in 2020, agricultural land under organic certification was 3.14 million hectares in China. The strong emphasis from governments and other stakeholders on the organic and sustainable mode of farming has increased the acceptance of these plant growth promoters (PGP).
Plant and microbial-derived products enhance plant growth, improve resource use efﬁciency, and increase tolerance to unfavorable soil and environmental conditions. These products receive higher acceptance from industry stakeholders, including farmers/growers and government bodies. The rising demand for high-value crops and increasing abiotic stress encourage farmers to adopt bio-based agriculture products that can potentially increase crop yields.
Rising Support from Government to Result in Enhanced Market Growth
Rising agricultural emissions have prompted the government to increase agricultural production of high-quality products that emit little or no pollution. Governments around the world are launching programs to educate farmers about various benefits of bio agri solutions. These governmental efforts are projected to significantly aid market growth in the forthcoming years. Furthermore, several regulatory authorities and councils have been formed to encourage and support a favorable business environment for the industry. The number of associations formed for the regulation of this novel product is increasing across the globe, which is predicted to be beneficial for the growth of the market. For instance, in April 2021, the Government of India announced setting up a regulatory body and compliance requirements for the market in the country. The regulations require manufacturers to label their products with chemical composition and expiration dates and mandatory pre-registration with the government.
Growing Inclination Toward Natural Crop Protection & Nutrition Products to Augment the Market Growth
Food security and public health are intrinsically linked, and there have been efforts from all the stakeholders in the agri-food industry to ensure sustainable food production. The major phytopharmaceutical companies in Europe and Asia Pacific have intensified their R&D and production activities in natural products. The growers are increasingly shifting their preferences toward plant growth promoters to reinforce the plant vigor and enable them to become more resilient and survive during extreme climatic conditions.
Crop protection products and yield promoters from natural sources are thus becoming the cornerstone of agriculture, facilitating biostimulants' availability and market access, thereby driving their overall market.
Dearth of Proper Regulations & Conventions to Restrain the Market Growth
In many emerging economies, lack of regulations associated with the product's commercialization may hamper the development and growth of the market during the forecast period. Limited awareness and availability of quality products, lack of trust in new products, and lack of stable regulatory and supporting policy for networks inhibit the market's growth. The data requirements for the product are usually acquired from those derived from synthetic chemicals in the majority of the markets. Similarly, even though these products have been commercially used for over 60 years, there is still an absence of well-established endpoints for risk assessments.
Non-microbial to be Leading Segment Owing to its Unique Bioactive Substances
Non-microbial is the leading segment and is expected to grow significantly, owing to improving crops' biochemical and physiological traits. Non-microbial biostimulants comprise active compounds such as humic acids, seaweed extracts, inorganic compounds, and biopolymers. These non-microbial products aid in facilitating plant growth without hampering the environment and human health.
Microbial products in recent years have gained traction from consumers as the availability of high-quality agricultural land is diminishing and is anticipated to continue in the years to come. These plant growth promoters enhance crop yields subjected to low-input conditions and mitigate the climate change impacts on the crops. Microbial-based products comprise free-living fungi or bacteria to form a symbiotic relationship with the crops, thereby enhancing the overall yield and alleviating the impacts of climate change.
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Seaweed Extracts to Hold the Major Share as it Contains Wide Array of Elicitor Component
The demand for seaweed extract-based biostimulants is projected to witness strong growth due to the growing cultivation of seaweed in a prominent and potentially growing market. Seaweed extracts are gaining prominent recognition in the global agriculture sector for improving plant health and performance. These extracts have been used for a long time, directly or indirectly, to enhance soil fertility and crop productivity.
Growers have widely used humic substances, including humic and fulvic acids, to produce various crops. These products are highly capable of inducing significant changes in root morphology. Moreover, these products also aid in modifying plant membrane activities of nutrient acquisition and uptake.
Microbial inoculants use has been prominent in the past two decades, owing to the rising research and development focus of both private and public agriculture sectors for overcoming problems linked with modern agricultural practices. These microbial amendments comprise free-living fungi, bacteria, and mycorrhizal fungi isolated from various environmental sources such as soil, plant residues, water, composted manures, and plants. Further, the researchers are working toward developing microbial products that are resistant to environmental variables, such as temperature, which opens growth prospects for the segment and the market.
Foliar Treatment to be the Most Adopted Application Method Due to its High Effectiveness
Among different application methods of utilizing biostimulants, foliar spray accounted for the major share due to its high effectiveness in improving plant health. Numerous studies and research have proven the benefits of foliar application. They helped improve the yields of crops, such as maize, cowpeas, and onions, despite being subjected to stressful conditions. According to a study by Ali et al., 2019, the foliar application of alpha-tocopherol increased drought tolerance in wheat by improving its antioxidant defense mechanism, photosynthetic efficiency, water uptake, use, and photosynthetic pigment contents.
The seed treatment application is growing popular among growers as seed enhancement techniques improve seed germination and seedling growth even when exposed to environmental stress conditions. Various field trials have shown the benefits of using these products on seeds. According to a study conducted by the researchers in the Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology, the University of Turin, Italy, using an innovative biostimulant KIEM, manufactured by Green Has Italia S.p.A. revealed the percentage germination improved by 6.45% while its fresh biomass increased by 13%.
Row Crops Segment to Emerge as Dominant due to High Demand
The row crops segment, which includes cereals, oilseeds, fiber crops, and pulses is expected to retain its dominance over the forecast period in the global markets. This is attributed to the large cultivation area and application trend. These crop sources represent the most important crop group cultivated globally, including soybean, sunflower, cotton, and others. The significantly decreasing arable lands make it crucial to ensure high yields and quality, which can be achieved using agriculture biostimulants as alternative strategies.
The rise in organic farming has also contributed to driving the product's utilization in horticulture farming to induce resistance to pests and improve growth. Furthermore, there has been a rise in the adoption of greenhouse vegetable production. Despite the environmental stress conditions, this intensive and technology-oriented farming technique ensures year-round availability of out-of-season crops. Thus, applying plant biostimulants to horticulture crop types offers an innovative environment-friendly approach to attaining sustainable crop production.
Europe Biostimulants Market Size, 2021 (USD Million)
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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.
Europe dominated the world market and stood at USD 924.55 million in 2021. The market in Europe is expanding considerably owing to the government's increased emphasis on adopting sustainable farming substances, tools, and methods, along with several biostimulants promoting councils in the region. The regulatory framework for agriculture in the European Union is increasingly becoming receptive to environmental concerns, nudging the development of novel models, systems, and practices that are eco-friendly & sustainable and allow the plant to make the most of its resources. Biostimulant materials are currently used on huge land acreages in Europe and are projected to grow prominently during the forecast period.
The North America market outlook is driven by increased investments in the R&D of agricultural biologicals. The product has emerged as an ideal input for complementing conventional chemical treatments to help enhance plant growth and vigor. These are increasingly viewed as an integrated part of a holistic approach to help maximize yields. Recent advancements in technology and science are one of the major factors driving the course and evolution of agriculture research, thereby influencing the uptake of these bioproducts in promoting stress tolerance and growth in various ranges of crops and plants.
The increased adaptation of organic farming practices coupled with the synergistic effects of PGP is driving their sales in the region. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in the organic survey of 2019, there were 16,585 organic farms in the U.S., up by 17% from 2016. The rise in promoting organic and sustainable farming techniques and consumers’ growing demand for organically produced goods are providing incentives for the U.S. farmers across a wide range of products.
The market in Asia Pacific is projected to witness significant growth in the forthcoming years. This is attributable to the increasing adoption of sustainable agriculture practices in prominent Asian countries such as India and China. A rise in adoption of quality agriculture products by Asian producers is also expected to contribute to the market's growth. The perpetually growing population across several Asian economies has proliferated the need for higher food production. Furthermore, the intensifying focus of Asian governments on food security and sustainability in food production is bringing growth opportunities for these biologicals in the region.
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The growing organic agriculture sector across South American economies, such as Brazil and Argentina, is projected to contribute to rising demand for the product across the region.
Product Launches by Major Companies to Attain Highest Market Position
Market players operating in the market have realized the product's future growth potential. They are making continuous efforts to innovate and launch products in the market to establish their prominence. For instance, in June 2021, UPL Australia introduced a new line of biostimulant products based on GoActiv Technology, which is intended to address specific crop physiological "pain points" or abiotic stresses in fruits and vegetables, vines, and tree crops. Many other large and small market players are embarking on strategies, such as merger and acquisition, research & development, collaboration with the government, and others, to establish their prominence in the market.
An Infographic Representation of Biostimulants Market
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The global research report provides qualitative and quantitative insights into the market. It also offers a detailed analysis of the global market size and growth rates for all possible segments in the market.
Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of the market dynamics and competitive landscape. Various key insights presented in the report are an overview of related markets, research methodology, recent industry developments such as mergers & acquisitions, the regulatory scenario in critical countries, and key biostimulants market trends.
Value (USD Billion)
By Active Ingredient
Fortune Business Insights says that the value of the market was at USD 2.85 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 6.69 billion by 2029.
The market will grow at a CAGR of 11.43% during the forecast period (2022-2029).
Seaweed extracts segment is expected to be the leading segment among active ingredients in the global market over the forecast period.
Amplifying demand for agricultural biological inputs to enhance plant nutrient uptake and promote plant growth is driving the growth of the market.
BASF SE, Syngenta AG, Bayer AG, and UPL Limited are a few of the key players in the market.
Europe is expected to hold the highest market share.
Seed treatment segment is expected to grow at the fastest pace during the forecast period.
Rising demand for eco-friendly and cost-effective agri-inputs is one of the emerging trends in the global market.
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