Is Korea an attractive country for bio-pesticide and bio-stimulant?
Dec. 2, 2020
In 2019, the Korean crop protection market was valued at US$1.26 billion. In terms of the pesticide category, insecticides have the highest market share, accounting for 38.1%, followed by fungicides with 34.5% and herbicides and others with 24.6% and 2.8%, respectively.
The bio-pesticide and bio-stimulant market is estimated to be valued at US$0.3 billion from the market consensus. This market sector is now growing fast annually with the speed of more than 5~10% growth rate. The main driving forces toward rapid growth can be summarized with introduction of PLS, increase of chemical resistance and expansion of on-line marketing.
Impact of PLS introduction
Introduction of PLS (Positive List System) by Korea agricultural authorities definitely accelerated the rapid growth of biological and eco-friendly products in Korea. This new regulation, which aims to promote pesticide residue safety, stipulates that farmers should strictly follow product labels and guides in terms of application on crops, application frequencies, application rate and other important safety precautions. As a result, in many sectors, farmers couldn’t use chemical pesticides which were used conventionally for a long time without label list and those chemical pesticides were replaced by bio-pesticides.
Chemical resistant issue
Thrips, mites and powdery mildew are causing the most serious damages due to the chemical resistant problems in Korea. In other words, there are the most promising markets for biopesticides in those sectors. Because of low efficacy with chemical pesticide, some farmers are combining the chemical pesticides and biopesticides to elevate the control effect. Especially, during the harvest timing, biopesticides become the only method to be used free from residue issues. With the quality improvement, some biopesticides have generated successful cases based on quite a good efficacy as much as chemical pesticide.
Appearance of hit product
10 years ago, no one believed that biopesticide or biostimulant would be sold more than US$1 million annually as a single product in Korea. However, several products proved that this prejudice was definitely wrong. One bio-fungicide touched almost 10million annual sales and several bio-stimulants recorded the annual sales of more than US$1 millon. This fact implied that competitive biopesticides and biostimulants are no longer positioned at the outskirt area in agriculture.
Expansion of online marketing
Online sales of chemical based pesticides is banned in Korea. On the other hand, biopesticide and biostimulants are freely advertised and traded on e-commerce market. With the high reputation of strong IT technology country, Korean farmers are using the online market to learn new agricultural information and find new innovative solutions. This trend is leading almost all agricultural companies to open their YouTube accounts or webpages to expand their communication opportunities with customers on on-line site. Many successful use strories with bio-solutions have made farmers convinced at the efficacy of bio-products.
Promising market sectors
As previously described, resistant chemical pesticides will continue to be replaced by bio-solutions. Thrips are the hottest subjects to be getting lots attentions from the market and the virus issues are also becoming serious problems in nearly all vegetable crops. Powdery mildews have been in the representative problem list for a long time in Korea. Biostimulant sector as well as biopesticide sector is in the process of getting recognition as the new concept of solutions among farmers especially for abiotic stresses such as droughts, floods, high or low temperature change and fruit cracking. The success of soil water keeper (SmatWater) and fruit cracking preventer (Fitomaat) proves this new trend in Korea.
If you have competitive bio-solutions and find a new blue market, just try to develop Korea biopesticide and biostimulant market. Why not?
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