Global Agricultural Microbials Market Size, Trends

The agricultural microbials market has been a rapidly growing sector within the agriculture industry. Agricultural microbials refer to microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses that are used in agriculture to enhance plant growth, protect crops from pests and diseases, and improve soil health. These microorganisms act as biopesticides, biofertilizers, and biofungicides. The global agricultural microbials market size is estimated to be valued at USD 6.4 billion in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 12.6 billion by 2027, recording a CAGR of 14.6% during the forecast period. The global agricultural microbials market has been influenced by some of the macroeconomic and microeconomic factors witnessed in some key countries.

This would prove strong enough to drive the market significantly in terms of value sales during the forecast period. With the decrease in per capita arable land and rise in demand and preference for fruits and vegetables in developing countries, the trend of investing in R&D activities to improve farming techniques has significantly boosted the use of agriculture microbial products in the agriculture industry. The use of microbial biopesticides and biofertilizers in agriculture is gaining importance due to their potential to increase the resilience and yields in farming systems. They enhance nutrient uptake and pest resistance and are helpful in mitigating plant stress responses. The use of microbes is a key practice in sustainable agriculture, thus making them significant for achieving the “Sustainable Development Goals” that are put forth by the United Nations. The future growth in the markets is projected to show tremendous scope for agricultural microbials, and many key industry players have begun field trials, the results of which have determined 10-20% growth in the production of economically important crop plants.

Agricultural microbials market trends include:

Increasing Demand for Sustainable Agriculture:

There has been a growing global emphasis on sustainable agricultural practices. Agricultural microbials are seen as an eco-friendly alternative to synthetic chemicals, promoting sustainable and environmentally responsible farming.

Rising Awareness of Soil Health:

Farmers and agribusinesses are becoming more aware of the importance of soil health. Microbials play a crucial role in enhancing soil fertility, nutrient availability, and overall soil structure.

Government Initiatives and Regulations:

Many governments are promoting the use of bio-based products in agriculture to reduce the environmental impact of chemical inputs. Supportive regulations and incentives are driving the adoption of agricultural microbials.

Advancements in Microbial Technology:

Ongoing research and technological advancements in microbiology contribute to the development of more effective and targeted microbial products. This includes the identification of new strains with specific agricultural benefits.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Practices:

Integrated Pest Management approaches, which combine biological, cultural, and chemical methods, are gaining popularity. Agricultural microbials play a crucial role in IPM by providing a natural and sustainable way to control pests and diseases.

Market Consolidation and Partnerships:

The industry has witnessed mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships between major agricultural companies and microbial technology firms. This trend is expected to continue as companies aim to strengthen their microbial product portfolios.

The demand for organic food crops and the phase-out of key chemical active ingredients is driving the growth of the global agricultural microbials market, owing to the health benefits associated with it.

Agricultural microbials are biocontrol tools used to kill target pests with applications on a wide range of crops. They can either function as parasites, predators, or natural insecticides/fungicides. Awareness of the harmful effects of chemical pesticides, which are responsible for extensive environmental pollution, serious health hazards, outbreaks of secondary pests, resistance developed by target pests, and loss of biodiversity, has been increasing. Therefore, biologicals have gained huge demand in the market.

Based on crop type, the agricultural microbials market is segmented into cereals & grains, oilseeds & pulses, fruits & vegetables, and other crop types. In addition, various crops have been included under distinct categories to emphasize crop-specific pests.

North America is projected to reach USD 4.3 Billion during the forecast period.

North America is a key exporter of agricultural products. Factors such as growth in organic farming, availability of water and land and entrepreneurial farmers, and efficient infrastructure are the key competitive advantages for the North American market.

The Agricultural Improvement Act was established in the region in 2018, under which the government has established permanent funding for organic research and made efforts to enhance organic trade. The farm practices using biofertilizers and biopesticides are significantly rising in the Canadian region, despite the decrease in the total number of farmlands.

The key players in this market include FMC Corporation (US), Corteva Agriscience (US), Marrone Bio innovations (US), Valent Biosciences (US).

Seed treatment by biopesticides helps provide protection against soilborne pests such as white grub and weevils.

In seed treatment, the seed is directly treated/coated with biopesticide prior to planting. This method minimizes exposure of chemicals to workers and potential runoff to waterways, along with reducing the overall number of pesticides used in the environment. It effectively protects the seed and seedling from low-to-moderate pest attacks during emergence and establishment. The treatment creates a layer over the surface of the germinating seed to protect the crop from insects. Seed treatment targets a specific pest without harming the beneficial organisms and minimizes the need for foliar spray.

Many countries are encouraging the use of biological seed treatment methods to promote sustainable methods of pest control. New Zealand started the Next-Generation Bioinsecticides Program in 2012 to find new, safe, and sustainable solutions for New Zealand’s key insect pest and disease problems. As a part of the same program, microbial treatments of wheat seeds were tested on commercial farms in Canterbury for their ability to protect seedlings from grass grub attacks. It was found that seeds treated with insecticidal bacteria resulted in higher yields than untreated seeds where grass grub was present. Such benefits of using seed treatment are expected to boost the growth of this segment.