Mar. 26, 2018
The necessity for alternatives to combat plagues in the field and the growing interest for a production with less use of agrochemicals will push ahead the market of biopesticides, which should grow 15% per year in Brazil until 2021. The sector moves around US$100 million in the country, said Lucas Rona, manager for Latin America at Arysta LifeScience's Pronutiva & Biosolutions.
“There’s a large interest in biological control, so much so, that some areas register a growth of up to 30%,” said Rona, who is also the manager for biosolution at Arysta LifeScience. The company has been working for over two years with an integrated management system with chemical and biological products and for nearly 10 years with biologicals.
The interest from the industry, as well as from producers in the sector, is related to the resistance of some plagues used on chemical pesticides. In the year 2013, the caterpillar, Helicoverpa armigera, caused major losses in the field once the plague presented resistance to diverse chemical products.
“On the one hand, the caterpillar caused losses, on the other hand, it opened the eyes of the agricultural community to the fact that management with chemical products is not sufficient,” said President of the Brazilian Association of Biological Control Companies (ABC Bio) Gustavo Herrmann.
The entity intended to release a detailed study on the market of biopesticides in April this year. “But we know that in the last five years, the sector has grown because of the worries about sustainability, and mainly with the resistance,” said Herrmann. According to the Executive-Director of Genica start-up Patrick Vilela, the sector represented 2% of the Brazilian market of pesticides. “But I believe in the trend that biologicals can represent 5% of the market soon,” he added.
Vilela affirmed that biopesticides are more efficient and cheaper than chemical products and have the advantage of a smaller period of grace after the application. However, like Arysta, the start-up defended the associated use of chemical pesticides and biologicals. “It is still not possible to use just biologicals. We neither have the tools for all stages of the plants' cycle nor the plagues,” Vilela argued.