Biostimulant is a substance that is used to foster the plant growth by improving the metabolism of the plant and it finds application in agriculture and horticulture. It is derived from natural resources and some of the most common biostimulants used are humic acids, liquid manure composting, seaweed extracts, and beneficial bacteria and fungi. Biostimulant enhance overall plant growth by influencing other factors such as root diameter, root growth, increased microbial activity, and soil water holding capacity. This enhance plant tolerance and resistance to abiotic stresses.
The global biostimulants market was valued at US$ 2,034.8 Mn in 2018 and is anticipated to reach USD 4,597.6 Mn by the end of 2027, growing at a CAGR of 9.2% during the forecast period (2019 to 2027).
Increasing launch of advanced biostimulant products is projected to foster the market growth of biostimulants. For instance, in February 2017, Bioiberica has launched Equilibrium®, a new biostimulant particularly for fruit set and the start of fruit ripening. Equilibrium® has been found to enhance the number of fruit per hectare while maintaining good calibre, in more than 20 trials in different crops. Moreover, the new biostimulant encourage the improved phytohormonal regulation of the plant, optimizing the processes of cell division and mobilization of reserves and acting in the developing organs, maintaining their overall physiological balance.
The growing adoption of precision farming and latest technologies is projected to drive market growth. For instance, according to a study carried out at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May 2015, there is rapid adoption of precision agriculture technologies in recent years. A survey of 135 farmers was received. Producers responding to the survey indicated the average production of 1,247 acres of row crops in an average operation of 1,507 acres. Thus, rising adoption of precision farming is protected to foster market growth over the forecast period.
Figure 1. Global Biostimulants Market Share, By Region, 2018
Europe region dominated the global biostimulants market in 2018, accounting for 41.0% share in terms of volume, followed by North America and Asia Pacific, respectively
The high cost of production associated with the biostimulant as it requires high investments in research and development which is restricting the use of biostimulants. Moreover, high R&D costs and the long-time is taken by the company to produce a new product pose a challenge for new entrants. Moreover, though biostimulant have various benefits, however, very few products are available in the market. Therefore, this factor is expected to hinder the market growth of stimulants over the forecast period.
The lengthy procedure for the approval of biostimulant products is projected to restrict the growth of the biostimulants market. Moreover, the pre-market approval for biostimulants entering into the market could take a year or more from application to registration because of a lengthy process of observation which is also projected to hamper the market growth. Furthermore, the industry is currently facing a various regulatory framework, which keeps on changing from state to state. Therefore, such factors are projected to hinder the market growth of stimulants over the forecast period.
Rising government support and subsidies to reduce the usage of pesticide and promoting the usage of biostimulant is projected to propel the market growth. Moreover, the rising number of partnership among key players is another major factor projected to fuel the market growth of biostimulant. For instance, in October 2019, Olmix Group and QUANG BINH AGRICULTURAL CORPORATION (QAC) have signed a partnership agreement to commercialize Olmix’s biostimulant range within Vietnamese territory, which promote the desire of the company to expand its Plant Care business network in Asia.
Rising investment in research and development by major players in the development of advanced biostimulant is projected to propel the market growth. For instance, in May 2019, Spanish biotech firm AlgaEnergy and Krishi Rasayan Exports (KREPL) have entered into a joint venture for the production of bio-stimulants based on microalgae that boosts soil health, and plan to invest about USD 20 million in next 3-4 years in the business. The purpose of the partnership between AlgaEnergy's Indian subsidiary MicroAlgae Solutions India Pvt Ltd (MASI) and KREPL's sister concern Agrolife Sciences Corporation is to tap not only the Indian market but also other countries such as Europe, where AlgaEnergy has a strong presence.
Figure 2. Global Biostimulants Market - Opportunity Analysis
Market Trends/Key Takeaways
The growing usage of biostimulants in conventional crops is projected to fuel market growth over the forecast period. Many farmers are adopting biostimulants in order to meet the rising demand for healthy food products with the least ecological impact. Biostimulants are gaining high demand among farmers as it is a natural compound that is expected to boost crop yields more efficiently and effectively. Moreover, biostimulants are also gaining a certain amount of popularity as products that can enhance the return on investments if used for conventional farming. Hence, this is expected to foster market growth.
Rising development in the agriculture sector such as expanding food production or export and imports coupled with the growth in organic and natural trade is projected to fuel the market growth over the forecast period. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, U.S. agricultural exports were valued at $140 billion in 2018, a 1-percent increase compares to 2017. Export growth was affected by reduced exports to Asia, especially for soybean exports. Imports grew by 6 percent in 2018 to $129 billion. Imports have grown at a faster rate than exports since 2016, driven in part by strong domestic economic growth.
In the U.S, fertilizer is not registered at the federal level. Each state has its own fertilizer program. Thus, there is a number of different and often contradictory standards for the biostimulants, fertilizers, and plant or soil amendments. There is no single existing framework to register a biostimulant product under U.S. states.
Figure 3. Global Biostimulants Market Share, By Crop Type, 2018
Based on crop type, global biostimulants market is divided into row crops, fruits & vegetables, turfs and ornamentals, and other crop types. In 2018, row crops accounted for largest revenue share of 46.4% in global biostimulants market. Whereas, fruits & vegetables are projected to record fastest growth, registering a CAGR of 11.2% during the forecast period (2019 to 2027).
Acadian Seaplants Limited, Biostadt India Limited, Omex Agrifluids Ltd., Italpollina Spa, Koppert B.V., Bio Atlantis Ltd., Micromix Plant Health Limited, Trade Corporation International, Valagro Spa, Isagro S.P.A, Platform Specialty Products Corporation, BASF SE, Novozymes A/S, Agrinos A/S, and Dow Chemical Company
Few Recent Developments
Acadian Seaplants Ltd (ASL)
- In May 2018, Canadian company Acadian Seaplants Ltd (ASL) has developed first of its kind seaweed-based biostimulants to help farmers raise their agricultural output in India.
- In July 2019, Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. a leading developer of bio-based products for pest management and plant health, today announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership to collaborate on research and development efforts with Valagro S.p.A, a leader in the production and commercialization of biostimulants and specialty nutrients.
Dow Chemical Company
- In July 2017, DuPont Pioneer & Evogene Announce Multiyear Research Collaboration for Development of Corn Bio-Stimulant Products. The goal of the collaboration is to provide farmers with innovative bio-stimulant seed treatment products that protect and maximize corn yield by leveraging each other’s relevant market-leading technologies.