Biofertilizers are applied on plants, soil, and seeds. They add nutrients to plants & soil and lead to enhanced output. Biofertilizers are deemed safer than chemical ones and stimulate ‘plant-growth.’ With advances in technologies and emphasis on food production, the demand for biofertilizers market is predicted to rise sharply in the near future.
Biofertilizer products can lower the usage of chemical-based pesticides & fertilizers. Microbes present in biofertilizers restore the soil’s natural nutrient cycle and create organic matter. The adoption of biofertilizers helps plants & soil develop further.
The biofertilizers industry is likely to gain considerably on account of the demand for feasible environment-friendly solutions for soil & plants. Regulatory proposals endorsing biofertilizers have facilitated market growth in the past.
Moreover, awareness regarding the environment and demand for soil fertility & organic foods should propel market sales. The European Union’s ‘Common Agricultural Policy’ promotes bio-based products and offers nearly 30 % of the total budget as direct green payment to farmers that adhere to sustainable agricultural practices.
Supportive regulations, particularly in Europe and North America, are projected to be a key driver of the global industry. The Indian government has announced a national initiative as a part of its 5-year plan which focuses on raising the production, distribution, & consumption of biofertilizers. This is likely to favor the growth of biofertilizers in the country. The initiative also plans to educate farmers regarding product usage for enhanced crop safety.
Higher awareness about the advantages of biofertilizers may boost industry demand till 2024. Unpredictable prices of chemicals coupled with viable response to escalating food costs can propel the market during the next eight years.
In addition to the above, the demand for high agricultural productivity to cater to human needs is estimated to further industry revenues. Also, lesser product costs in comparison to artificial counterparts would push industry demand from 2016 to 2024.
However, low awareness about biofertilizers among farmers, mainly across developing nations, could hinder market growth. However, unmet needs of fertilizers, agriculture-led economies, and supportive regulations would offer numerous prospects to the market.
The worldwide biofertilizers market is segregated into products, applications, crops, and regions. Products include nitrogen fixing, phosphate solubilizing, potash-mobilizing, and others. Nitrogen fixing reigned in 2014, accounting for over half of the total revenues. They contain mixed strains of nitrogen fixing bacteria; such as azospirillum, rhizobium, azotobacter, & acetobacter (adding microbes & nitrogen to the soil). Nitrogen fixers have massive scope. They are primarily utilized as nitrogen sources for rice, a key crop in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Brazil, etc. The same is said to boost segment expansion.
Phosphate solubilizers were the second largest product in 2014. They are predicted to grow the fastest in the eight years ahead. The segment comprises bacteria that hydrolyze inorganic & organic phosphate, mostly from synthetic compounds. However, huge consumption of synthetic phosphate fertilizers across India, China, Australia, etc. due to abundant manufacturing facilities can prevent segment growth.
Applications include seed treatment and soil treatment. Seed treatment was the biggest segment in 2014. It captured over half of the global shares. Seeds treated with biofertilizers assist in tolerating bacterial & viral attacks and enhancing farming output.
These seeds also harness atmospheric nitrogen and make it obtainable for plants. They can increase the phosphorus content of soil by solubilizing it & bettering its availability. Adoption of such seeds among farmers is expected to spur industry growth during the forecast period.
Soil treatment raises the soil’s productiveness & plants’ yield. The need for fertile lands for cultivation practices across different economies; like China, Brazil, India, U. S., Italy, etc. may positively impact the industry in the near future.
On the basis of crops, the biofertilizers market is split by vegetables & fruits, cereals & grains, pulses & oilseeds, plantations, and others (plantation crops, turfs & ornamentals, silage & forage crops, and fiber crops). Vegetables & fruits are the most produced crop, since they are consumed extensively as meals. With food being the primary need of humans, the production of vegetables & fruits will increase, thus widening the scope of biofertilizers.
Geographically, Asia-Pacific occupied more than 15% shares in 2014. China, the largest agricultural industry globally, has been encouraging the adoption of biofertilizers by offering exemptions on VAT, agricultural tax, etc. to organic product manufacturers. This is said to augment regional demand.
North America led in 2014 and was followed by Europe. Together, they held over half of the global incomes the same year. Preference for organic foods and awareness about the health hazards of chemical fertilizers have resulted in high product usage in these regions.
The global biofertilizers market is fragmented. It has several domestic firms that focus on different geographies. The industry is highly competitive and has leading companies in Novozymes A/S; CBF China Bio-fertilizer AG; Symborg S. L.; and Antibiotice S. A.
Novozymes A/S and CBF China Bio-fertilizer AG were the biggest participants supplying biofertilizers, primarily to Europe and North America. Most of these players have signed exclusive agreements with suppliers to meet ‘end-user’ requirements and broaden their reach worldwide.
Companies; like Lallemand, National Fertilizers, AgriLife and Novozymes have set up their own supply & retail outlets to lessen the distribution costs, thereby helping them sell their products at lower & competitive prices.
Ajay Bio-Tech LTD. is focusing its resources on Western regions coupled with Asian markets. It reckons the need for biofertilizers across western nations to increase further owing to the stress on environment-friendly farming & organic food products. The bartering power of distributors is huge, with the demand for fertilizers being greater than their supply. This factor contributes to lower bartering power of purchasers because of unmet requirements.
Novel players face moderate threats while attempting to enter the industry. They owe the same to high research & preliminary spending for new biofertilizer units. Because of the unmet demand for fertilizers, the danger of substitutes replacing them is high. The worldwide biofertilizers market is heavily populated & accompanied by high exit hindrances. The same owes to huge research & infrastructural spending, boosting the competition between companies.
Research Support Specialist, USA