Agricultural Fumigants: An Emerging Industry with Attractive Growth Opportunities

The agricultural fumigants market is estimated to be valued at USD 1.59 Billion and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.10% from 2017, to reach USD 1.94 Billion by 2022. The growth of this market can be attributed to the growing focus on increasing agricultural production, increase in focus on the reduction of post-harvest losses, and growing usage of agricultural fumigants for the production and storage of cereals.

How will investments in the production of new products creating profitable opportunities for manufacturers in the agricultural fumigants market?

Increasing tolerance of pests towards methyl bromide fumigation, followed by its phasing out, has resulted in the adoption of suitable alternatives for methyl bromide for the management of stored products and to quarantine pests. The alternatives for methyl bromide fumigant include phosphine, sulfuryl fluoride, carbonyl sulfide, ethyl formate, hydrogen cyanide, carbon disulfide, methyl iodide, and methyl isothiocyanate. Hence, manufacturers are focusing on new product developments by investing in R&D activities for active ingredients that can inhibit the resistant insects by using these alternative fumigants.

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Increase in focus on the reduction of post-harvest losses

Reduction of post-harvest food losses is a critical component for ensuring food security. Post-harvest losses arise from freshly harvested agricultural produce undergoing changes during handling. Post-harvest losses are a measurable reduction in foodstuffs and affect both quantity and quality. According to the UN DESA (United Nation Department of Economic & Social Affairs) report the global population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, further adding to global food security concerns. Thus, food availability and accessibility can be raised by increasing the production and reducing losses.

Post-harvest losses can be avoided by undertaking fumigation for pest prevention. For example, the decay of citrus post-harvest is controlled by ammonia gas fumigation. Post-harvest green mold and blue mold, caused by Penicillium digitatum and Penicillium italicum respectively, are effectively controlled by ammonia gas fumigation of lemons and oranges. This treatment does not harm oranges; however, it causes the tissue within previously injured areas on the crust of lemons to become darker in color. Fumigation of lemons with ammonia slightly accelerates the natural transition of the color of the crust from green to yellow. Thus, fumigation technology helps in preventing post-harvest losses to maintain the quality of agricultural commodities. In addition, fumigation also helps in the thorough cleaning of storage areas, silos, or warehouses. This is employed as a further preventative method in pre-harvest cleaning for the storage of grains.

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The market is dominated by key players such as BASF (Germany), Syngenta (Switzerland), ADAMA (Israel), Dow Chemicals (US), and FMC (US). Other players include UPL (India), Degesch (US), Nufarm (Australia), American Vanguard (US), Nippon (Japan), Arkema (US), and Rentokil (UK). The key players have adopted strategic developments such as new product launches, expansions & investments, mergers & acquisitions, agreements, collaborations, joint ventures, and partnerships to explore the market in new geographies.