National Biointrants Program (PNB): Another opportunity to chase Brazil’s promising biological market
Mar. 18, 2021
Maria Luiza CastroFollow
Being part of the biointrants sector, biopesticides have already proven their importance to this market. According to CropLife, in 2020, Brazil reached the milestone of having 20 million ha treated with biological products, representing a 23% growth compared to 2019 and R$1 billion in turnover. These statistics highlight the ideal growth and ongoing evolution of the market, which is a worldwide reality highlighting the fact that sustainable agriculture is an alternative to using conventional chemical pesticides.
Corroborating the data, the AgriBusiness Global State of the Industry Survey (2020) explained that most of its respondent countries are integrating biological products into their portfolios, as well as evaluating ways of participating in this market, since biopesticides, according to the survey, make up the largest category of products in demand with suppliers and distributors, so companies are launching or developing them with the same priority as conventional chemical pesticides. Many factors have also influenced the rise in interest in this product category. The same survey pointed out that consumer demand for lower levels of pesticide residue (72.4%) is the main reason for increasing market in biological products, which is forcing the entire upstream and downstream value chain to re-evaluate their production systems. Environmental laws (48%) were the second most significant reason for increased demand, followed by favorable regulatory frameworks (37%).
In addition, more evidence is becoming available about the globalization of the biointrants trend. In line with IDTechEx september 2020 Report, by 2031, the total market for agricultural biological products will reach $19.5 billion, with the biostimulant market being worth $7.5 billion and the biopesticide market reaching $12 billion, representing 20% to 50% of the global pesticide market, respectively.
In May 2020, the Brazilian government launched the National Biointrants Program (PNB), which aims to encourage and support the utilization of biological products while promoting the country´s agriculture sustainable development. In order to achieve this overall goal, the Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA) and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) formed a partnership and developed a free app available to the public on iOS and Android, which offers options related to registered biointrants and shows relevant details about their use in agriculture (https://lnkd.in/eGi6NnJ). As stated by the PNB, bionintrants, also called “biobased agricultural inputs” in Brazil, are considered to be “any product, process or technology of plant, animal or microbial origin intended for use in the production, storage and processing of agricultural products. They act on crops, livestock, aquaculture and forestry systems and bio-inputs, positively interfering in the growth, development and response mechanisms of animals, plants, micro-organisms and derived substances interacting with their physical-chemical and biological products and processes.”
Over the years, the continuous improvement of the Brazilian regulatory framework, which encourages the production and use of biointrants, should be highlighted. For example, the first specific normative focused on the “BioControl Microbials Registration” published by the government in 1997, which was updated in 2006, revised in 2014, and is currently being updated. The same update and dynamic processes occur with the “Reference Specification” positive lists published by the Brazilian government in 2013, which are used to register phytosanitary products approved for use in organic agriculture. Currently, we counted 47 reference specifications related to this product category. Also, in this scenario, it is very important to highlight the Brazilian government’s efforts to expedite the registration processes of biocontrol products through several regulatory incentives. The key points to emphasize are assessment prioritization, reliance on public literature on a case-by-case basis, reduced data set requirements, dedicated government analysts and fast-tracked authorization procedures, as well as reduced fees compared to the conventional chemical pesticides, supporting bioproduct registrations and ensuring that these products can be placed on the market quickly. All these actions create the conditions for incorporating the PNB’s main aims, such as promoting science, technology and innovation, generating and disseminating qualified knowledge, and encouraging the implementation of bio-factories for the production and use of biointrants.
Additionally, in support of this contention, for companies established in Brazil, the PNB aims to promote credit support activities through offering lines of credit and financing up to 30% of capital costs invested in the construction of bio-factories. Following the same set of financial incentives, a suggestion to allow the public will be given the opportunity to finance innovation projects presented to the government.
The pursuit of overall sustainable development is necessary, and considering the sequence of events, Brazil can make the difference. The country currently has a unique opportunity to attain a new level of sustainable agriculture by taking full advantage of its considerable biodiversity and natural resources, and empowering agriculture´s bio-economics with alternative and innovative methods. Consumers and growers from around the world are focusing on low toxicity and natural products that deliver greater yields from crop cultivation while minimizing risks to human and environmental health. This is the future of agriculture.
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