Interview: Big players lead role in the development of biopesticides
May. 12, 2014
According to the most authoritative statistics, biopesticides market has generated unprecedented growth of 27% p.a. between 2007 and 2012 and is expected to double to $4.5 billion in 2023. Facing so huge market potential, AgroPages invited Stockton Group’s CEO Ziv Tirosh to comment the development of biopesticide industry. Edited excerpts:
1. What are the main reasons of this round of rapid development of biopesticides?
At this stage there are only a handful of biopesticides that works well and that are creating global impact – they have a big future ahead of them and our Timorex Gold is one of them.
In terms of main reasons for the rapid development for this sector: first of all, after approximately a decade of exploration, the value proposition of biopesticides has finally been “discovered” and once that happened, rapid development began. An industry that began with dreams of replacing conventional agrochemical took a few years to realize that its unique value proposition is alongside agrochemical products within conventional crop protection spraying programs, and not instead. This meant looking at spraying programs and finding where specific biopesticides can bring value. And then, in an industry dominated by very few large players, it was necessary for these big players to embrace the value of biopesticides, and it is evident that we are past this stage.
Biopesticides could in no way penetrate mainstream agriculture without the big players leading this penetration. Development and commercialization of these products requires highly technical product development, market development and market education. This can come primarily from the big players for rapid growth. We must add to these factors also the macro trends of “going green” and of lack of unique products in the industry. All these together are reasons for the rapid development.
2. What are the main conditions to enter the biopesticide field?
Well, let’s remember that agrochemical today is primarily a generic industry. Developing biopesticides means becoming a science based R&D organization and investing heavily in science and in product development that takes on average 8-10 years per product in terms of time to market and costs millions.
3. To your knowledge, where are the main markets for biopesticides? Where is the Stockton’s main market?
Main markets for biopesticides are North America and Europe. The rest of the world is following. Stockton’s main market at this stage is in Latin America but our commercial biopesticides activity is beginning in North America this year and in Europe thereafter.
4. What is the different business model of marketing the biopesticide against traditional pesticide? Do you think they can share the same market channels and sales network?
We see biopesticides as an additional set of tools in the crop protection arsenal of the farmer. Therefore, it must be distributed and sold by the same channels. The channels also help educate the farmer and that’s important too. Our strategy is to partner with leading academic institutions such as Israel’s Weizmann Institute for our Research and pipeline and then to partner with distribution for commercialization. We focus on development and marketing of scientifically based biopesticides and their integration into conventional crop protection spraying programs.
About Stockton Group
Stockton was established in 1994 as a privately-owned company dealing with generics as well as with biopesticides, and has a staff of 40 employees in Israel, and around 120 employees worldwide. The company has offices in 20 countries and operates in about 40 countries.
Stockton has an active R & D collaboration with the Weizmann Institute of Science for the development of future natural products for crop protection. In this area, the Group has a unique research and development center in Israel and invests substantial resources in developing biopesticides.
Stockton's flagship product is Timorex Gold® used in the treatment of a broad spectrum of crop diseases. The product is registered in 25 countries around the world and is sold in a wide range of crops.
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