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Key Factors Stoking Adoption of Biopesticides

May 07, 2019 | Food & Beverages

The toxicity and non-biodegradability of chemical pesticides have stoked the demand for more sustainable alternatives. In addition to this, the persistently rising demand for cost-effective pest control measures has increased the utilization of biopesticides across several countries. However, their use has remained low in certain under-developed nations but are expected to witness better growth in the coming years. This articles seeks to examine the factors enabling growth in the market as well as those restraining its trajectory.

"Structural Changes in the Agriculture Sector – Green Revolutions"

Increasing agriculture yield achieved in the last few years is attributable to the use of synthetic chemical crop protection (pesticides) and various plant nutrition (fertilizer) products and access to High Yielding Variety (HYV) seed materials. Besides this, the agriculture sector has evolved significantly post green revolutions of the 1960s and 1970s, which has also increased the agricultural productivity across the world. These developments steered structural changes in the pattern of investments, education, the quality of credit markets, and property rights. Green revolution also helped in achieving food security to a large extent as farmers were able to protect their crops worth of US$ 415 billion (bn) annually with the use of crop protection chemicals. However, there was no focus on sustainable management of natural resources across the world and it didn’t help in succeeding the goal of food security in underdeveloped countries.

Aberrant use of hazardous synthetic chemical pesticides in agriculture has adversely affected natural resources and made way into the food chain, threatening health of millions around the world. Such long-term effects on human health and environment have forewarned the government bodies to curb the use of hazardous pesticides. Several developed and developing countries have banned the use of several synthetic chemical pesticides. On the flipside, there are several other countries where limited awareness, economic instability, and fragile legal frameworks allowed the continued use of synthetic chemical pesticides.

"Biopesticides to Replace the Ineffective Synthetic Chemical Pesticides"

Pesticides are used commonly for pest suppression in agriculture, forestry, and landscape. Resistance to one or more pesticides has evolved in various species of crop pests, rendering many of those pesticides ineffective. This has necessitated supplementing or replacing pesticides with new generation chemical and non-chemical pesticides and other control tactics such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM) options are essential to meet the sustainable food security.

Preservation of efficacy of pesticides depends on awareness about the increasing resistance of pests to pesticides and coordinated actions to address the problem by individuals at the farm level and beyond.

Parasites, predators and pathogens developed as biological control programs are rarely so robust to enable pest suppression in cropping systems. Even if such robust biological control is attainable, initial efforts targeting one or a few pests, it may create the need for pesticides to manage other species if their populations exceed economic thresholds.



Useful components of IPM strategy

Speed of controlling pest damage is slow compared to synthetic chemicals

Reduced risks of toxicity

Some of the biopesticide products are more expensive than synthetic pesticides

Effective resistance management tools

Many plant-based products are rapidly degraded by UV light

To meet growing organic crop cultivation needs in crop protection and plant nutrition

Farmer acceptance level depends on complete eradication of pest from the field

Limited fund required to develop and launch the products to the markets

Performance of the biopesticides strongly depends on weather conditions, repeated application of biopesticides may increase the expenditures

Sustainable source to balance the soil beneficial microorganisms level

Limited shelf life

"Growth in Organic Agriculture and Organic Food & Beverage Consumption Expected in Coming Years"

As per the data from FiBL, 1.4% of the global agricultural land was organic in 2017 and witnessed 20% growth over 2016 due to the strong expansion witnessed in Australia, China, Argentina, Russia, and India.

Organic food and beverages sales reached US$ 97 bn in 2017 and 90% of the demand is concentrated in North America and Europe. The U.S. is the largest market for organic products. It accounted for 47% of the global organic food market. Besides this, the total organic food sales in the country is 5.5% of U.S. total food sales in 2017.

Europe accounted for a 37% of the global organic food market in 2017. Countries such as Switzerland and Denmark exhibited the highest per capita consumption of organic food products (in terms of value). Organic food market in countries such as the Asia Pacific and Latin America is also growing significantly due to the elevating domestic consumer demand.

"Biopesticides - Fastest Growing Sector in The Crop Protection Market"

The global biopesticide market is growing rapidly due to the increasing acceptance from crop producers. The global biopesticides market was valued at US$ 0.6 Bn in 2003, exhibiting a growth rate of 13-14% till 2017. The global biopesticides market was approximately valued at US$ 3.36 bn in 2017. Furthermore, the market is likely to reach US$ 10.19 bn by 2025, exhibiting a CAGR of 14.93%. Rising domestic consumption and increasing demand from the global export market will aid the expansion of the biopesticides market. Furthermore, the increasing demand for organic and residue-free primary agricultural products and processed food will result in wider distribution of biopesticides across the world.

Currently, North America and Europe are dominating the global biopesticides market. Ban on the use of synthetic crop protection chemicals will boost biopesticides consumption in the Europe market. Furthermore, increasing focus on soil fertility and conservation will fuel demand for biopesticides in Europe.

"Industry Connect"

Companies such as Valent BioSciences Corporation, Marrone Bioinnovations, Koppert Biological Systems, Isagro S.p.A, Bayer CropScience AG, DowDuPont, Syngenta AG (Switzerland), ADAMA Agricultural Solutions Ltd., and others have developed various biopesticide products/ formulations to achieve the expected level of pest control.

Multinational companies are aiming towards establishing a stronghold in the biopesticides market through acquisitions, distribution agreements, research collaborations, new product launches, and in-licensing of technology and products. Recent mergers & acquisitions witnessed in the agrochemicals industry will pave way for the development of various breakthrough technologies, ensuring a higher level of efficacy and reliable and sustainable pest control solutions.

Few of the Industry Developments

  Acquiring Company

  Company Acquired

Bayer CropScience

AgraQuest Inc. (U.S.)

Prophyta GmbH (now its Bayer CropScience Biologics GmbH)

Syngenta AG

Pasteuria Bioscience, Inc. (U.S.)

Devgen NV

Sumitomo Chemicals

Valent BioSciences Corporation

Botanical Resources Australia Pty Ltd.


Becker Underwood Inc. (U.S.)

Mitsui & Co. (Certis USA)

LAM International Corp. (USA)

Koppert Biological Systems

BUG Agentes Biológicos (Brazil)

Itaforte BioProdutos Ltda. (Brazil)

InVivo Co-operative Group

Bioline AgroSciences Ltd. (U.K.)


Sri Biotech Laboratories India Limited

Belchim Crop Protection

Jade SARL (France)

Stoller do Brasil

Rizoflora Biotecnologia S/A (Brazil)


Natural Industries Inc. (U.S.)

TJ Technologies Inc. (U.S.)

CBC Co., Ltd.

Intrachem Bio Italia S.p.A. (Italy)


Agrauxine (France)


Using biopesticides in place of their synthetic counterparts can offer numerous advantages. This is the key reason why the biopesticides market is gaining traction from various industry stakeholders. Furthermore, increasing research and development initiatives by multinational companies will support the expansion of the global biopesticides market.

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