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The global seed treatment market size was valued at USD 10.15 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow from USD 11.32 billion in 2022 to USD 26.01 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 12.62% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with seed treatment products experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 10.39% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Seed treatment, a novel and recent concept in agricultural inputs, has transformed the agricultural industry from a single product paradigm to a systemic approach that addresses multiple challenges affecting crop yield and quality. The growth potential of the treated seeds remains promising in the matured markets of developed economies that are transitioning toward adequate, sustainable, and systemic products. Moreover, the future growth of the global market is expected to emerge from the development of novel solutions that are not only effective and economical but also assist in enhancing the sustainability of crop production.
Disruption in Raw Material Supply Chain amidst the COVID-19 Outbreak to Result in Sluggish Growth
The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on the world economy – both directly and through basic measures to contain the spread of the disease. Restrictions on the movement of people across borders and lockdowns contributed to labor shortages for agricultural sectors in many countries, predominantly those categorized by periods of peak seasonal labor demand or labor-intensive production. According to the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), agricultural production in India declined by -2.7% due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Moreover, due to restrictions imposed on transportation and the closure of shops, the availability of agri inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, fodder, and others declined in the range of 9% to 11%.
Incorporating technology into the agriculture sector has witnessed a positive potential. Shifting from conventional methods of mixing fertilizers to machine-made mixing allows manufacturers to produce products more efficiently and profitably for their customers. Moreover, manufacturing activity was permitted for essential goods during the pandemic, with agricultural products categorized under essential goods. Companies resumed their operations in a phased manner. For instance, in July 2020, Dhanuka Agritech Ltd., an agrochemical company in India, undertook various initiatives to protect employees, communities, and operations by ensuring the supply chain was not impacted. It encouraged non-critical operations to work from home and communicate electronically while adhering to social distancing norms across its manufacturing sites.
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Incorporation of Innovative Technologies to Replace Manual Involvement
The focus of most agricultural policymakers is on organic and related integrated farming systems. This route to sustainability generally ignores the needs of conventional farming systems on the most fertile agricultural land. However, there has been analysis regarding the effects of national and international policy environments on innovation strategies of companies developing products in the areas of pesticides such as insecticide fungicides, biotechnology, and seeds, which could potentially reduce the environmental impact of all farming systems.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a broad-based approach that incorporates a range of practices for the economic control of pests. It includes controlling insects, plant pathogens, and weeds. Moreover, today, the technology is gaining traction on farms around the world. IPM can reduce cost and pesticide residue by limiting pest populations and increasing crop yields. Synthetic insecticides have adverse effects on the environment. However, IPM promotes non-chemical approaches and pesticides.
Escalating Need to Increase the Crop Yield owing to Increased Spending on Food
A robust increase in agricultural production primarily fuels the global industry. According to the Government of India, the agriculture sector accounts for 18.8 % of the Country's Gross Value Added (GVA) in 2021-22 and has experienced flexible growth in the past two years. It grew at 3.9% in 2021-22 and 3.6% in 2020-21. The significant increase in agricultural production can be attributed to introducing new technologies, innovations, and process enhancements in the farm sector.
Treating the seeds with synthetic chemicals or biologicals ensures that the yield remains promising and productive, with the establishment of healthy crops becoming more sustainable. The farming practices, independent of their approaches (traditional or organic), have made treating the seeds an intrinsic part, and nearly all commercial agricultural seed manufactured undergoes some form of treatment with chemical or biological solutions such as insecticides or biofungicides. The market thus assumes greater significance amidst unsustainable conventional agricultural practices, future climate scenarios, and limited natural resources.
Enabling Policy and Regulatory Framework to Reduce the Disease and Enhance Productivity
The global seed treatment market growth is fueled by the public sector's supporting agricultural policies and efforts to make agriculture more remunerative. Governments and regulatory authorities around the globe have concretized their efforts toward their agrarian sector, which is already heavily subsidized in some agri-dependent emerging markets. The governments of different developed and developing economies have realized the importance of treating seeds to ensure optimum crop emergence. As opposed to the foliar application of other conventional inputs, treating the seeds with synthetic or biological solutions is a well-targeted method for reducing the disease and enhancing the yield.
Low Awareness and Modern Technological Challenges Hinder the Market Growth
The major restraint for the market growth is its sub-optimal utilization in countries where it can play a pivotal role in overall yield enhancement and crop protection. Farmers in many developing countries are unaware of different aspects of treating the seeds. Modern agricultural challenges demand innovative solutions from eco-friendly inputs to protect and improve commodities. Moreover, producers must exercise greater caution about not mixing the biologicals with the products, drastically reducing the effectiveness of such solutions. The dominance of traditional crop protection methods and their wider availability among cultivators crowd out the novel treated seeds released in the marketplace.
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Synthetic Chemicals Hold the Largest Seed Treatment Market Share owing to the High Cost of GMO Seeds
Based on type, the market is segmented into synthetic chemicals and biologicals.
Synthetic chemicals segment is expected to witness a strong sales performance over biological treatment as it takes less time to control plant diseases and pests. Several automatic treatment machineries with high accuracy are available, making them less labor-intensive. Synthetic chemicals are fungicides or insecticides applied to seeds to control seeds and seedlings from diseases. The high cost of genetically modified seeds is a significant factor in the demand for and growth of chemical treatments. Plants grown from seeds treated with resistance-inducing chemicals like salicylic acid, jasmonic acid, and others exhibit long-lasting effects on protection across the different developmental stages of crops.
The biological treatment segment is projected to exhibit substantial growth as these treatments are made up of renewable resources that contain naturally occurring active ingredients that protect against soil-borne pathogens, improve abiotic stress, and increase plant growth.
Seed Protection to Hold Significant Share owing to Competitive Cost and Reduced Application Efforts
The function segment includes seed protection and seed enhancement. The seed protection segment is anticipated to witness the fastest growth as it provides a complete protection solution against various plant stressors in a single product that is grower-friendly, crop-friendly, and environmentally responsible. Moreover, compared to conventional crop protection products, seed protection treatments offer competitive costs, reduce application efforts, and save time.
The growing popularity of physical seed enhancements is an alternative approach to other chemical treatments, which provide a better solution for the seed market and are expected to positively impact the market's growth. Magnetic field treatments are considered practical seed enhancement tools for horticultural crops; however, their application is limited to large scale. Among physical methods, magnetic field and ionizing radiations are the most favorable pre-sowing seed treatments.
Early Protection of Crop from Foliar Infection drives the Seed Dressing Sector
Based on application technique, the market is segmented into seed coating, seed dressing, and seed pelleting.
Seed dressing is the fastest growing segment, allowing the seed to germinate quicker than non-treated seeds. Seed dressings promote early relations with beneficial soil microorganisms, such as mycorrhizae, which help nutrient absorption. It controls seed infection and protects the crop from foliar infection, thereby reducing the disease pressure later in the season, making in-crop fungicides more effective, and reducing potential loss of yield and quality during grain fill.
Seed coating is anticipated to hold a significant share in the global market. Rising incidences of seed diseases that undesirably affect the overall crop growth and health are leading to aggregate demand for seed coating ingredients to safeguard them from the attack of pests and other harmful microorganisms in the soil environment.
Increasing Tolerance to Abiotic Stress Boosts the On-Farm Treatment Utilization
The stage of the seed segment comprises on-farm and off-farm. In off-farm treatment, the easy availability of seeds to the farmers and the manually mixing of pesticides saves time. Along with this, using already treated seeds help in fueling agricultural productivity.
The on-farm segment is witnessing significant demand across the global market owing to an effective approach to alleviate adverse seedbed conditions such as soil crusting and limited soil moisture. On-farm treatment offers more substantial photosynthetic potential to plants tolerant to abiotic stresses.
Cereals to Exhibit Significant Proportion in the Global Market due to its Rising Application in Food Industry
Based on crop type, the market is segmented into cereals, oilseeds, fruits & vegetables, and others. Cereals segment is expected to hold the largest share in the market owing to the government's strong focus on food security from developing markets. Moreover, the demand for cereals is rising as they have a wide range of applications in the food industry.
Oilseeds are gaining significant traction in recent years as urbanization increases in developing countries, dietary habits and traditional meal patterns are expected to shift toward processed foods, which increases the demand for vegetable oils. According to the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2021-2030, India is expected to uphold a high per capita vegetable oil consumption growth of 2.6% per year, reaching 14 kg per capita by 2030, necessitating a high import growth of 3.4% per year.
North America Seed Treatment 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 holds the largest share in the global market, which stood at USD 3.56 billion in 2021. It is primarily driven by favorable agro-economic conditions, homogeneity in terms of intensification level and farmer profile, and a wide range of agro-climatic zones and crops. The U.S. and Canadian marketplaces seek to address the mounting challenge of optimizing natural resources and managing increasing labor costs. Treated seeds are poised to contribute to the efforts to address the challenges as mentioned earlier due to its high productivity while reducing the use of agrochemicals.
The regional market for treated seeds in Europe is mainly driven by its robust demand, especially in Western Europe, which exhibits a proportionally high level of agrochemical usage as compared to the plantation area. Seeds treated with solutions are predicted to contribute to resistance management and ease operational complexity. Central and Eastern Europe have high intensification potential as these regions lack technological interventions, which is further aggravated by irregular weather patterns and natural constraints.
The Asia Pacific market is expected to showcase the fastest growth rate compared to the global average. The production scenario for staples such as wheat and rice remains favorable in the region. The seeds treated with pesticides are utilized to increase the productivity of such major crops, even in marginal land with low agricultural inputs. Moreover, the dominance of chemical insecticides and pesticides in the region warrants biological-based treatment with a reduced risk of exceeding minimum residue levels. The region is also expected to contribute considerably to the global organic agriculture sector. The agricultural sector remains essential to individuals' livelihoods and global economic stability. Demand and consumption of crops for food, feed, and fuel are proliferating, resulting in the surging need for increased crop yields. Moreover, the emergence of biodegradable seed coatings is expected to offer significant growth opportunities for key market players.
The demand for seed-treated solutions is increasing in Brazil and Argentina in South America. Soybeans, corn, rice, beans, and sorghums are some commodities whose seeds are increasingly being treated with blends of chemical and biological solutions, owing to their wider acceptance in the region. The chemicals segment offers early season control, while microbial treatment exhibits extended control as it colonizes the developing roots. Moreover, the on-farm segment is expected to grow faster during the upcoming years owing to biological viability and stability factors.
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The demand for treated seed in the Middle East & Africa is anticipated to grow significantly. Increased tolerance to both biotic and abiotic stresses makes the seed protection segment popular in the region. It is not only the dominating functionality associated with the treated seeds but also it is expected to exhibit faster growth in the upcoming years. Insecticides followed by fungicides are broadly utilized, with seed dressing being the most common method.
Syngenta AG is Focused on Portfolio Expansion by Increasing its Product Launches
Syngenta AG is one of the major players with a huge clientele base, serving its products across the globe. The company is focused on new product innovation and expanding its market base to strengthen its market presence. For instance, in March 2021, Syngenta introduced a new corn seed treatment product, Vayantis fungicide. The product contains the active ingredient picarbutrazox, a fungicide developed to protect seedlings from key blight and damping-off diseases. This new product launch will help farmers combat Pythium and increase crop yields.
Other key players, such as BASF SE, Bayer AG, and UPL Ltd. are focusing on strategic mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships to gain a further competitive landscape from such collaborations. The entrance of niche players in the market contributes to intensifying competition, which positively impacts the market's growth.
An Infographic Representation of Seed Treatment Market
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The global seed treatment market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product sources, and leading end-use applications. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the market's growth in recent years.
Value (USD billion)
By Application Technique
By Stage of Seed
By Crop Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the value of the market was USD 10.15 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 26.01 billion by 2029.
In 2021, the North American market value stood at USD 3.56 billion.
Growing at a CAGR of 12.62%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2022-2029).
The seed protection segment is expected to be the leading segment based on the function in the market during the forecast period.
The positive offering of seed treatment products to farmers, such as protecting high-value seeds and reducing the usage of active chemical ingredients, is expected to drive the market.
Syngenta AG, BASF SE, and Bayer AG are the top players in the market.
North America is expected to hold the highest market share in 2021.
High cost of genetically modified seeds is expected to drive the adoption of these products.
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