Biocontrol agents have been playing an invaluable role in controlling the plant pests such as insects, nematodes weeds, and mites. They tend to level the playing-field by reintroducing a slew of the specialist natural enemies which help curb the invasive species in the native range. As biological controls are natural and don’t depend on the use of artificial chemicals, they are being highly sought-after across seed treatment and post-harvest applications.
Leading industry players are expected to infuse investments in improving the effectiveness of biocontrol agents with genetic and genomic approaches. Biological control, as such, is perceived as one of the best solutions to phase out the large scale use of synthetic pesticides. In the latest research report by Global Market Insights, Inc., biocontrol agents market size is likely to surpass US$ 7.5 bn by 2025.
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Some of the traits such as pest suppression ability, reducing ecological risk and boosting mass production augur well for the adoption of biocontrol agents.
Microbial biocontrol agents are profoundly being introduced as they are increasingly being used for biological control of plant pathogens. Allegedly, around 101 microbial biocontrol agents have been registered in the U.S., Europe, Australia, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand and Japan in 2017 for disease control. The trend is set to continue in the next few years.
It is worth noting that microbial agents tend to shield crops from damage by diseases through various modes of actions. Besides, given that they are said to induce resistance against infections by a pathogen in plant tissues, traction for biocontrol agents is likely to pick pace in the ensuing period.
With increased demand to reduce pest population with minimal environmental consequences, biocontrol agents industry outlook looks bullish. In a bid to keep up with the food demands amidst burgeoning human population as illustrated by the UNO’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, demand for biocontrol agents will be noticeable across applications.
The use of viruses as a controlling agent is expected to turn out to have a viable potential as biocontrol agents. Moreover, flourishing organic farming across North America, Europe and APAC has instilled confidence among stakeholders.
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With sustainability concern on the rise, investing in biocontrol appears to be a top-notch business strategy. Easy availability, efficacious throughout the season, and less cost compared to other agrochemicals have instilled confidence among stakeholders.
Stakeholders also see opportunities in augmented biocontrol agents as natural enemies are added to bolster an already existing population, insects being used in greenhouse is an apt example.
Likely challenges that may be encountered in 2020 and beyond
Even though biocontrol is cheap in the long run, the setting up cost of biological control system may be exorbitant. Moreover, biocontrol agents are also believed to affect the product quality.
At the time when there is global need to harmonize agriculture production with the sustainable use of biodiversity, biological pest control through natural enemies has become a highly sought-after component for sustainable production of crops. Potential trends and opportunities suggest APAC will boost biocontrol agents industry size. Use of microbials such as virus, yeast, fungi and bacteria will continue to gain traction in 2020 and beyond.
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