Agricultural Inoculants – Trends and Forecast till 2023

Published On: March 2018

Global Agricultural Inoculants – Trends and Forecast till 2023

Agricultural inoculants are beneficial microbes formulated and applied to soil or seed for improving plant health and growth. Agricultural inoculants can be bacteria, fungi or other microbes which help in preventing diseases and also enhancing growth and developing crop yield. Agricultural inoculants comes in various forms such as solid, liquid and freeze dried. Agricultural inoculants standard have been changing and the rate of their usage is also on the rise.

Growing demand for organic products

The growing demand for organically produced foods is growing rapidly which is influencing higher demand and use of agricultural inoculants. The increasing level of investment in research to identify organic molecules and right formulation to improve the plant metabolism and enhance plant performance in a short period of time and in a cheaper way. Agricultural inoculants find its application in diverse spectrum which include agriculture and horticulture. The use of agricultural inoculants is gaining traction owing to its benefits in terms of better crop yield, improved horticultural practices and enhanced nutrient use efficiency by refining nutrient uptake and minimizing losses to the environment.

Government initiatives are stimulating the sales of agricultural inoculants

North American market: The Rulers of the Global Market

The global agricultural inoculants market collected USD 345.91 million during the year 2017. Among all the region, North America is estimated to retain its dominance throughout the forecast period of 2017-2023. Climate change has the potential to significantly destabilize future efforts to achieve food security and sustainably manage the natural resource base of agriculture. Rising temperatures, increased frequency and severity of extreme climatic events, and changes in the distribution, quantity, and timing of rainfall has strong negative impacts on crop and livestock production. All these factors have supported to enhance the growth of agricultural inoculants in the North American region.

Latin America offers lucrative opportunity to the agricultural inoculants manufacturers

Latin American agriculture sector shields a wide range of farming structures and practices, from small farmlands to mega farmers in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and others. The major crops produced are soybean (40%) and corn (around 25%), mostly concentrated across Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. Supportive natural conditions enable double cropping in many countries, multiplying the agricultural potential of the region, although creating some challenges in terms of resistance management.

Latin America plays an important role in global agricultural trade, as Brazil and Argentina among the highest exporters of corn and soybean. Perennial crops are also important, with Brazil being the leading global producer and exporters of orange, coffee and sugarcane. However, the support of central subsidy schemes to Latin American agriculture sector is very less compared to the other regions, and is affected by restrictive export policies especially Argentina. As a result, the returns from commercialized agriculture are mainly determined by operational efficiency and scale.

Seed Inoculants is gaining massive popularity in the agricultural inoculants market

Seed inoculants is projected to expand at a high pace in the global agricultural inoculants market and it is estimated to retain its dominance throughout the forecast period of 2017-2023. Seed inoculation is the exercise of covering the seed surface with a nitrogen-fixing bacteria before plantation. The bacteria enters into the root, resulting in the formation of root nodules that fix nitrogen from the air and make it readily available to the plant. This farm practice is characteristic of that which is done for legumes, such as clovers, alfalfa, bean, soybean etc., which are in a symbiotic relationship with rhizobium bacteria. Seed inoculation benefits both the seed and the rhizobium bacteria. It protects the nitrogen fixing bacteria, needed, due to the fact that most seeds carry natural toxins against soil decay which destroy rhizobia as well.

Apart from the bacteria, a common farm practice in seed inoculation is the adding of systemic fungicides. Fungicides significantly upsurge seedling survival due to a pythium and phytophthora root rot presence in the soil. Seed inoculation contributes to a higher survival rate of seedlings, as well as less seed needed to establish a efficient farm production.

Oil seed & pulses are the major crop type in the agricultural inoculants market

Oil seed & pulses is estimated to hold a market proportion of 30.22% in the global Agricultural Inoculants market in the year of 2017 and it is expected to gain healthy market share in the global Agricultural Inoculants market. Pulses are highly nutritious with high levels of dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and complex carbohydrates. Also, pulses also help to prevent and combat chronic health issues such as diabetes, heart diseases, and obesity which in turn escalates the demand of oil seed & pulses. Pulses are popular food in developing economies where it plays significant part as a diet.

So, what is the future of the Agricultural Inoculants market

Use of agricultural inoculant is of great significance and an important component of the agricultural economy in developing countries of the region. In an era where the world is faced with multiple challenges of attaining food security, controlling soil erosion, addressing land use methods and conserving water, need of holistic and cross-functional approach offering innovative solutions to support farmers becomes compelling. The traditional farmers are reluctant to make changes in their traditional and conventional farming practices and incur the establishment cost. The imperative need of trained extension specialists to demonstrate the new farming practices and increase farmer awareness of the potential benefits associated with the use of agricultural inoculant and role of government funding to support such initiatives are instrumental in bringing socio-economic change, improved income and quality of rural life. Key industrial players are also investing in R&D and building partnership with farmers to form an integrated model to develop sustainable agriculture measures.

Due to unclear legislation standardization of agricultural inoculants, there is great confusion concerning the use of these substances. The term “agronomic fertiliser additives” and “Plant inoculants” are not clearly defined which makes the use of inoculants unregulated to some extent in few countries. Regulations for agricultural inoculants in Brazil is similar to that of Hungary where individual agricultural inoculants products have to be registered based on the fertiliser acts. In various countries, regulatory approaches range from no intervention (free access to the market) to pre-market authorisation on individual commercial products.

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