SCC: The perfect partner for all agrochemicals, biopesticides, biostimulant and fertiliser registrations
−− Interview with Dr Lars Huber, Senior Manager Regulatory Affairs of SCC-Scientific Consulting Company GmbH
May. 30, 2016
AgroPages: Could you please introduce some details about SCC to our readers?
Lars: Since more than 25 years, SCC has been a privately owned, independent and neutral consulting company – with an extensive global network, but no commercial ties to contract research organisations. In respect of Agrochemicals, we are familiar with all types of conventional and biological pesticides and other agrochemicals and biological products, such as fertilisers, biostimulants, plant strengtheners, soil conditioners and plant aids for professional and amateur use. We are the perfect partner for all agrochemicals, biopesticides, biostimulant and fertiliser registrations, whether you are a small or mid-sized enterprise or a large multinational.
AgroPages: In recent years, many multinational companies, including the Top 6 companies, have been stepping into the field of biopesticide by acquired many biopesticide companies. How do you think the latest round of M&A in this space?
Lars: In general, every engagement and investment in the field of biopesticides is to be welcomed and the increasing interest of multinationals has a positive signalling effect for the whole sector. Furthermore, to improve the market share and acceptance of biopesticides by farmers it is necessary to provide farmers with a complete agricultural toolbox. Thus, comprehensive product portfolios, as can be provided by multinational companies, are important and can be of help.
On the other hand, Research and Development (R&D) conducted by Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) as well as their expertise was one of the driving forces fostering biopesticides during the last two decades. Continuation of this successful work is absolutely necessary. Increasing mergers involve the danger of losing the R&D potential of SMEs. Therefore, close co-operation between SMEs and multinational companies is important and to be welcomed, but increasing mergers and thus, loss of independent SMEs are regarded with some suspicion by many experts.
AgroPages: Most consulting organizations have predicted that the value of the global biopesticide market is projected to reach USD 6.60 Billion by 2020 at a CAGR of 18.8% from 2015 to 2020. What's your prediction and what do you think are the main challenges to keep this strong growing market for biopesticide industry?
Lars: There are various factors to be considered regarding the possible future development and market share of biopesticides. The increasing demand of consumers for safe and environmentally friendly produced food indicates, that the importance of and the demand for biopesticides will continuously increase in future.
Considering the current situation in organic farming one of the main questions is, whether farmers will have sufficient active substances and effective products available for integrated and sustainable food production in future. At the moment, this is a problem. Thus, if industry is able to provide sufficient actives and products, one of the main requirements will be fulfilled. In order to enable industry to do this, the regulatory framework has to ensure an efficient and economic registration process. Reduced registration fees and registration timeframes are additional, much needed, incentives. If these requirements are met, continuous growth of the biopesticide sector is very likely.
AgroPages: Compare with chemical pesticide, biopesticide seems to be more slower effect, which is likely to be one of the challenge to make the farmers accept. So, could you please tell us how do you do in practice, in order to make biopesticide much easier to accept by farmers
Lars: There is no question that there can be huge differences between chemical and biological plant protection products. Thus, the special characteristics of biopesticides, their modes of action, their handling and efficient use have to be communicated to the farmers. This is a task for which many parties are responsible: Industry, that is, manufacturers and distributors, researchers, grower organisations as well as private and governmental crop protection services. For individual products and active substances this process can already be started during R&D of a new a.s. or product.
Whenever SCC provides its expertise with respect to this process, we always try to incorporate all parties mentioned above in R&D as well as the approval and authorisation process including the farmers. This allows for consideration of user requirements right from the start and a successful market entry, including a ready acceptance by growers. In this context, consideration of IPM strategies is especially important. Consider microbial insecticides for example. What about a fungal insecticide which cannot be used in conjunction with fungicides? Or what about an elicitor against fungal diseases which has to be applied separately and at intervals which are not in line with regular crop protection schemes? Such products will hardly be accepted by farmers. Therefore, suitability for daily use of a future biopesticidal product and, thus, its place in IPM schemes has to be considered right from the start. Otherwise, acceptance and success of each individual product as well as biopesticides in general will suffer.
SCC Gmbh are event sponsors for Biopesticdes Europe. Meet them in Barcelona on the 8-9 June 2016. For more information about Biopesticide Europe 2016, please visit www.wplgroup.com/aci/event/biopesticides-europe/