With an ever-increasing population and reduction of fertile land for crop production, several farmers, producers, and governments are under tremendous pressure to cater to the growing demand for food worldwide. Alongside, they have also been working to ensure sustainable agriculture practices, which in turn is driving biostimulants market growth globally.
It is worth noting that biostimulants do not directly impact pathogens, pests, or weeds, but help in improving the soil and plant’s natural processes, further leading to increased harvest yields and excellent resilience to abiotic stressors.
The deteriorating environment coupled with unstable climatic conditions is leading to high chances of abiotic stresses in plants, thus severely impacting crop yields. According to a study conducted by NASA, climate change can decline maize yield by 24% as early as 2030. It has been estimated that a 20% decrease from current production levels is likely to have critical implications across the globe.
Additionally, consistent technological breakthroughs in the agriculture space have allowed for the development of biostimulants that can act as a viable alternative to conventional plant protection solutions. This also helps in promoting sustainable agriculture since biostimulants are known to help plants maintain nutrition levels throughout their growth cycle.
Following are the top 5 trends that will influence biostimulants market dynamics in the upcoming years –
- Supportive regulatory outlook to augment biostimulants demand
While the regulations around the product are yet to be standardized, the EU recognized biostimulants in the European Fertilizer Regulation (EC) No. 2019/1009, which also offered a regulatory path for registering these products in the region’s member states.
The EU has outlined plant biostimulants as a substance or a microorganism that when applied to the rhizosphere of plants can stimulate the natural process to improve the nutrient efficiency and output, crop quality, and tolerance to abiotic stress. The new EU regulation is expected to help introduce new standards for processes and methods surrounding biostimulants in Europe.
Even the United States has recognized biostimulants in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which was initially known as the Farm Bill. This acknowledgment is a huge development in the long run for understanding as well as recognizing the benefits of these products. Moreover, this law is expected to support the development of novel sustainable technologies for the agricultural sector in the United States.
While the description is similar to that of the EU, it is the first definition of plant biostimulant in any U.S. legislation. The intent is essentially to support the development of standardized regulations to ensure appropriate review, approval, and availability of biostimulants to agricultural producers.
The primary takeaway is that the biostimulants market size will expand significantly in the ensuing years, primarily driven by rising environmental concerns, shifting preferences toward sustainable farming, and favorable federal reforms.
2. Amino acid biostimulants to gain worldwide recognition
Amino acid fertilizers can be produced by hydrolysis or enzymatic treatment of plant or animal protein feeds. These fertilizers are known to readily absorb, utilize, and transport nitrogen or carbon for plants, further allowing them to save energy.
As a biostimulant, amino acids play a key role in improving plant productivity, especially during abiotic stress conditions. This coupled with decent number of approvals has allowed amino acid biostimulants to be a go-to product among farmers, thus contributing to their worldwide popularity.
3. Microbial biostimulants to emerge as a key revenue-generator
Although microbial, which consist of beneficial bacteria and fungi, are the smallest classification of biostimulants, the product has been gaining significant traction lately, given its ability to improve plant growth through several direct as well as indirect mechanisms.
Microbial biostimulants are an innovative technology that can ensure improved agricultural yield with exceptional nutritional values. The product can also help in overcoming the negative effects of environmental changes. Thus, the growing demand for sustainable solutions to preserve soil fertility as well as to reduce the loss of soil biodiversity is fueling the adoption of microbial in agriculture, which in turn is favoring the biostimulants industry outlook.
4. Seaweed biostimulants to witness proliferating sales
The demand for seaweed biostimulants has grown significantly lately, primarily driven by price hikes for synthetic fertilizers. The excess use of synthetic fertilizers has imposed a global health hazard as well as considerably polluted agricultural lands across the globe. The use of natural plant growth stimulants has been a focal point for the global push towards sustainable agriculture, thereby contributing to global biostimulants market remuneration.
It is worth mentioning that seaweed has long been used in agriculture to enhance fertility by improving the organic content in the soil. Seaweed biostimulants, meanwhile, are known to promote the growth of plants as well as improve resilience. This can be attributed to the presence of growth hormones in plants, thus making it an ideal product to improve crop yield.
5. The worldwide push toward sustainability to boost biofertilizer adoption
Despite being considered a separate category, biofertilizers are linked with biostimulants given that the latter is usually registered through fertilizer routes across various parts of the world. Notably, biofertilizers comprise living microorganisms that can colonize the rhizosphere, soil, as well as the interior of the plant and promote growth by improving the supply of primary nutrients to the plant.
To that effect, the biofertilizer market is poised to amass commendable gains in the ensuing years owing to strict regulations regarding the use of synthetic fertilizers, growing environmental concerns, and collective inclination toward sustainable farming.
In a nutshell, the agriculture industry has witnessed the arrival of several innovative trendsetting technologies in recent times, which are stimulating the growth of biostimulants industry share and augmenting revenue-generating opportunities for market players. With an ability to support climate friendly crop production through deploying systemic planning and selective solutions, biostimulants are likely to define sustainable agriculture and drive the green transition in the next decade.