Andermatt Biocontrol: The high registration hurdle of biopesticides tends to get even higher
−− Interview with Mr Daniel Zingg, Managing Director of Andermatt Biocontrol
Jun. 1, 2016
AgroPages: Could you please introduce some details about Andermatt Biocontrol to our readers?
Daniel : Andermatt Biocontrol has a long history of almost 30 years in the biocontrol industry. Its key expertise in biocontrol was built up by producing a large number of microbial and macrobial products but also by adding a large range of third party products having today in Switzerland the broadest range of registered biopesticides worldwide.
Andermatt Biocontrol is a specialist in Baculovirus production for the control of different lepidopteran pests. Through its strategic shareholding in the German company Abitep and in the South African company PHP, Andermatt Biocontrol has also access to a large range of microbial products which are distributed worldwide. Andermatt Biocontrol started to establish its first subsidiary six years ago in South Africa and has today further subsidiaries in Canada, France and Brazil.
AgroPages: In recent years, many multinational companies, including 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?
Daniel : The biopesticide market is growing quickly. The percentage of biopesticides is at a level where all agrochemical companies are attracted by the opportunities within this sector, so further acquisitions are expected. Besides the acquisitions also development of new biopesticide solutions within the agrochemical companies will become more important. In comparison to the agrochemical sector only a small part of the overall R&D budget has been allocated to develop new biopesticides so far. I therefore expect a potential development of many new biopesticides in the future.
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?
Daniel : Based on the megatrend that consumers are looking for safer food with less residues and due to the fact that more and more agrochemical active ingredients will disappear because of their toxicity to humans and to the environment it is highly probable that the biopesticide industry will grow at a high rate for a long time, also after 2020. Biopesticides are used in the residue relevant time of crop development but also in anti-resistance strategies and also to replace chemicals because it is simply the better solution if we look at it in a holistic approach. However, a major difficulty for biopesticides is the high registration hurdle which tends to get even higher in recent times. One driver for this is the fact that agrochemical companies focus on broad spectrum biopesticides where the market size is bigger, so they can afford to invest in a full data package for registration and as a consequence registration authorities tend to ask the same data package also for niche products. It is unfortunately a fact that good niche market solutions with only a small market potential will disappear if there is not a political process lowering quickly the bar for registrations of good and safe niche biopesticides.
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?
Daniel : It is an important task for the successful use of biopesticides to bring the relevant know how to the attention of the farmers. The transfer of precise technical information by biopesticide companies and extension services about the use of biopesticides but also basic education of farmers are key factors for a long term success of biopesticides. Best control of pests and diseases results by combination of different solutions with the goal that a more slow effect of biopesticides is not only compensated but often gives better control than a single chemical treatment and prevents building up of resistance.
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