Biopesticides to grow to $4.5 billion in 2023

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Amid concerns over climate change and environmental impacts of farming, "greener" agricultural technologies are drawing the attention of regulators, producers, and consumers. Not all will be equally successful, but the growing biopesticide market will more than double to $4.5 billion in 2023, or about 7% of the total pesticide market, according to Lux Research.

"Outside pressures will provide new growth opportunities in agriculture. In the case of biopesticides, the EU's ban on neonicotinoid pesticides and health crises like recent accidental poisonings in India will push adoption of these safer products in the future," said Sara Olson, Lux Research Analyst and the lead author of the report titled, "Green Dreams or Growth Opportunities: Assessing the Market Potential for 'Greener' Agricultural Technologies."

"However, being 'green' alone isn't enough to make a technology a business success," she added. "Despite their environmental bona fides, practices like no-till farming and biochar don't present the same type of growth opportunities."

Lux Research analysts examined the potential market opportunities for biopesticides, no-till farming and biochar as fertilizer. Among their findings:

  • No-till farming is small. The cropland under no-till farming methods will grow from 125 million hectares in 2012 to 400 million hectares in 2023, at a CAGR of 11%. However, most of the impact will come from behavior change by farmers, with limited opportunity for new or different product sales in the industry.
  • Biochar has potential, but needs a champion. Biochar -- carbonized biomass used as fertilizer -- has significant benefits for farmers and for the climate, but prices remain prohibitively expensive, and the market is small and fragmented. An industrial champion that could refine production processes and bring lower-cost biochar to market could change the game, especially if carbon prices rise.
  • Biopesticides offer new partnership opportunities. Incumbent pesticide developers should prepare to team up with biopesticide makers to offer a broader suite of products. Vestaron is an excellent example of a multi-pronged approach that advances a biochemical biopesticide, a transgenic plant-incorporated protectant (PIP) and a synthetic pesticide at one time.

The report, titled "Green Dreams or Growth Opportunities: Assessing the Market Potential for 'Greener' Agricultural Technologies," is part of the Lux Research Agro Innovation Intelligence service.


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