The global agricultural microbials market is estimated to be valued at USD 6.0 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 11.6 billion by 2025, recording a CAGR of 14.1%. The market has high growth potential in emerging markets, such as Europe, Asia Pacific, and South America, as these regions are backed by an expanding population base leading to an increased demand for agriculture crops in the region. Countries such as China and India are expected to be key revenue generators since these countries are among the leading producers of crops such as rice and wheat at a global level. Apart from this, in South America, Brazil is ranked among the leading producers of crops such as sugarcane, corn, and soybean. These countries are expected to create a lucrative opportunity for agricultural microbial manufacturers in the years to come.
By type, the agricultural microbials market is segmented into bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa. The bacteria type segment accounted for a larger share during the forecast period. The application of bacteria in agriculture has increased, in terms of biofertilizers and biopesticides, as these sustainably provide higher and healthy yields. Bacterial strains are easily available in the surrounding environment and can be isolated and reproduced. The application of bacterial strains in agriculture is expected to increase with the entry of agrochemical players and a rise in the number of product launches.
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On the basis of function, the agricultural microbials market is segmented into soil amendment and crop protection. The crop protection segment is subsegmented into bioinsecticides, biofungicides, bionematicides, bioherbicides, and others. Agricultural microbials are increasingly being used as crop protectants in agricultural operations. Microbials used in pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides adopt multiple routes of action that avoid pests from getting resistant to them. Microbial pesticides function by invading through the integument or gut of the insect, and then they multiply in the pathogen, resulting in the death of the host. Microbial pest control provides a significant amount of target specificity and ecological safety. Hence, it can be applied individually or in combination with other pest management programs.
Based on formulation, the agricultural microbials market is segmented into dry and liquid. Liquid formulations can be water-based, oil-based, polymer-based, or their combinations. Water-based formulations, such as suspensions concentrates, suspo-emulsions, liquid concentrates, and capsule suspensions, require the addition of inert ingredients, which include stabilizers, stickers, surfactants, coloring agents, antifreeze compounds, suspending agents (that consists of bentone), and additional nutrients. Typical liquid formulating lines consist of storage tanks or containers to hold active ingredients and inert materials, and a mixing tank for formulating pesticide products.
By crop type, the agricultural microbials market is segmented into cereals & grains, oilseeds & pulses, fruits & vegetables, and other crop types. A large number of products are available in the agricultural microbials industry for the protection and enhancement of fruit & vegetable crops. TRIANUM-P Biocontrol (Koppert B.V.), LifeGuard (Certis USA LLC), and Delsol (UPL OpenAg) are some of the microbial products commonly used for improving plants’ resistance to stress caused by climatic conditions, diseases, or sub-optimal watering regimes. These also help in improving the nutrient uptake by plants. Grandevo (Marrone Bio Innovations) and RootShield (BioWorks, Inc.) contain active ingredients that repel, inhibit feeding, slow reproduction, and bring about mortality to prevent the growth of the damaging pest population and damage due to fungi.
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The market in Asia Pacific is projected to drive market growth during the forecast period, in terms of value. China and India, the two key agronomic countries in the region, are among the fastest-growing markets observed in terms of the adoption of organic farming practices that boosts the potential for the demand of microbial agricultural products. Asia has the largest number of organic farmers, which is 815,070. Earlier, the industry in the region was export-oriented for the market of organic food products; however, there is an increasing focus on the domestic as well in recent years.
Key players such as BASF SE (Germany) and Bayer AG (Germany) in the agricultural microbials market are focusing on agreements, collaborations, & partnerships, new product launches, and acquisitions to expand their global footprint.