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Top 10 global agricultural highlights of 2022 | Exploring countermeasures and opportunities, capturing new growth areasqrcode

Mar. 10, 2023

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Mar. 10, 2023
Grace Yuan

Grace Yuan

Global Marketing Director


In recent years, global agriculture has experienced ever-increasing challenges and uncertainties, such as extreme weather, geopolitical crises, energy crises, global supply chain restructuring and the impact of COVID-19, which have caused an unprecedented shock to the global food system, resulting in serious challenges for global food security. In the face of these impacts and challenges, business entities in all agricultural industry sectors have been working hard to support the sustainable development of global agriculture, through joint exploration and business practices.

At the start of 2023, we have aimed to analyze major industry events, emerging businesses, new technologies, new applications, new regulations, new policies and new concepts from 2022, which we hope can help enterprises better meet future agricultural development trends, therefore, utilizing new opportunities for overall sustainable future growth.

Frequent mergers and acquisitions in the biological industry, increasing industry concentration

Over the past two decades, the global agricultural input sector has experienced three major waves of mergers and acquisitions. The first occurred in the early 21st century, having created, for the first time, the ″crop-centric unified platform″ model that integrates three previously separate markets, which are crop protection, seeds and biotechnology. In 2014, FMC’s acquisition of Cheminova kicked off the second round of consolidations in the global agrochemical industry. This round of mergers and acquisitions gave birth to a giant agricultural group, the Syngenta Group, forming the ″new top four,″ which are Syngenta, Bayer, BASF and Corteva that are distributed in three countries: China, Germany and the US, while industry concentration has increased. This round of mergers and acquisitions reshaped the value chain of international agricultural giants, establishing the leading positions of the agricultural giants in the business areas of crop protection, seeds and biotechnology.

Walking away from competition in terms of business volume, the major agricultural giants have turned to ″capturing″ new growth areas and located their points of entry. These actions opened the third round of mergers and acquisitions in the most important biological industry sector, with the aim of facilitating the consolidation of a first-class biological product portfolio, which is a more differentiated and sustainable biological product line supported by well-established sales channels, and combined with the advantages of traditional agricultural inputs. Therefore, giant agricultural companies are able to provide farmers with more cost-effective and integrated solutions, quickly establishing technical leadership and higher market shares to achieve higher business volumes, better profitability and higher profit margins.

In 2020, Syngenta acquired Valagro, while AMVAC acquired Agrinos. In 2021, UPL established its Natural Plant Protection (NPP) business unit, which aims to provide farmers with a wide range of biological solutions, at increased investment. In June 2022, FMC Corporation unveiled new Plant Health business brand identity, 'Biologicals by FMC, and acquired the Danish pheromone business start-up, BioPhero, at a cost of $200 million, followed by the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement with MoonBiotech on microbial development. In September and November 2022, Corteva acquired Symborg and Stoller Group respectively. In fact, back in 2012, there was a wave of intense acquisitions in the field of biologics, where Bayer CropScience acquired AgraQuest, BASF acquired Becker Underwood, and Syngenta acquired Pasteuria Biosciences.

Compared to the acquisitions in 2012, this round of acquisitions was more mature in terms of considerations for market demand, consumer awareness, product development, production and terminal applications, or from the perspective of industry regulation. It is clear that acquisitions in the biological industry sector never stop, and in early 2023, Valent BioSciences, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Chemical, acquired FBSciences.

In addition to their accelerated biological deployment, multinational companies are constantly exploring emerging technologies, increasing their investment in digital agriculture, and accelerating the integration of the agricultural industry chain.

Future global agrochemical are expected to remain relatively centralized and stable in the long-term, but under new trends and new dynamics for competition, more opportunities and new challenges will inevitably emerge, which will then inspire more companies to explore and create emerging sources of growth and entry points in the steady operation of their main businesses.

Biological industry booming, platform-based operation model will become mainstream

For a good product to be sustainable, there must be a profitable business model and operating model. In recent years in the biological field, multinational companies, small and medium-sized agricultural input companies and biological formulators have rapidly consolidated resources through internal development, mergers and acquisitions, licensing, equity participation and investment, to seize market opportunities. In terms of operating models, most companies opted to optimize and upgrade their product portfolios, technologies and services via platform establishment, to provide farmers with packaged solutions. In this way, companies’ industry positions and leading advantages can be maintained.

Recently, Rovensa Group launched its new global biosolutions business unit Rovensa Next, which aggregated ten Rovensa Group companies, creating a holistic platform of innovative biosolutions to shape a sustainable future for agriculture and drive its bio-transformation. Rovensa Next will house the company’s comprehensive, innovative portfolio of agricultural inputs and technologies to shape a sustainable future for agriculture and drive its bio-transformation.The creation of this business unit positions Rovensa Next as a global leader in biosolutions, demonstrating global expertise combined with local knowledge through a holistic and integrated approach to plant and soil health – from seed to shelf.

Natural Plant Protection (NPP), which was established in June 2021, is the natural plant protection business unit of UPL and operates its business as an independent brand, integrating UPL’s existing biological portfolio, global R&D labs and facility network, and accounting for approximately 7% of total revenue. NPP product lines offer growers and distributors comprehensive packages covering bio-control (Bio-insecticides, Bio-Fungicides, Bio-Nematicides, Bio-Herbicides, etc.) and biologicals for plant and soil health (inoculants, PGPRs, etc.). One of the key benefits with NPP’s products is that they can be used for a completely biological approach, but UPL is focusing on ensuring they can also be combined with UPL’s conventional solutions through the ProNutiva programme, offering farmers the most efficient, effective, and sustainable package of inputs possible.

AMVAC and its parent company American Vanguard (AVD) introduced Green Solutions™, an umbrella identity for its growing portfolio of products in this area. Green Solutions is a diversified growth platform for AMVAC composed of biorational and specialty nutritional products. Currently, AMVAC has more than 120 Green Solutions offerings in its portfolio. These include biofertilizers, biostimulants, biopesticides, specialty nutrition products such as essential minerals and trace elements, and ancillary products such as adjuvants and solar protection. AMVAC’s strategy is to be mostly vertically integrated – from research through manufacturing and on to market access, where AMVAC markets brands that are familiar to their customers or else are newer products sold alongside other well-known AMVAC brands.

Since 2013, FMC has established its world-class biological business portfolio, covering more than 50 biological products that protect a wide range of high-value specialty crops and row crops across 50 countries. In June 2022, FMC unveiled new Plant Health business brand identity, 'Biologicals by FMC, to affirm its commitment to continued development and the expansion of its biological product platform. FMC later acquired the Danish pheromone business startup, BioPhero, at the cost of $200 million, and reached a strategic partnership with MoonBiotech on microbial development, therefore, enriching its increasing product portfolio.

Sumitomo Chemical Group’s global crop protection business consists of two pillars, which are traditional crop protection products and biologics. In October 2020, Sumitomo Chemical announced the realignment of its group subsidiaries to further strengthen its biorational business. Its subsidiary, Valent BioSciences LLC (VBC), is responsible for all of the biorational-related business functions of Sumitomo Chemical Group. To further help support the goal of its parent company, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., to achieve carbon neutral status by 2050, Valent BioSciences LLC established a new operating unit designed to expand its biostimulant line with new internally and externally developed products for both the U.S. and global markets in this important and rapidly growing crop production segment.

Digital agriculture put on fast track, business model being key to sustainable development

The increasing shortage of agricultural resources and increasing human demand for food, as well as the accelerated integration of modern agriculture with new-generation information technology represented by cloud computing, big data, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, blockchain and 5G telecom, facilitated the rapid development of digital agriculture. After years of practice, exploration, development and application, digital agriculture has had a profound influence on the development of agriculture and has made agricultural development more sustainable.

To this end, the four agricultural input giants – Syngenta Group, Bayer Crop Science, BASF Agricultural Solutions, Corteva Agriscience - have been increasing their investments in digital agriculture, to achieve further growth in their market share and reinforce their industry position.

Up to the current period, the agricultural input industry has progressed to a stage of competition for stock sales for previous competition for capacity increases, while the continuous improvement and intense promotion of the digital agricultural system will further reduce the use of agricultural inputs, such as pesticides and fertilizers. Under these circumstance, exploring innovative business models to gain higher profit margins and promoting the sound development of the agricultural industry have become the focus of attention among industry practitioners. Moving from single agricultural input sales to intelligent services, which are results-based, price-fixed and farm management-focused, will provide farmers shared benefits and more profits if intelligent services are successful. But if they are not successful, farmers will be compensated.

In this regard, Syngenta Group utilizes digital technology to offer science-based solutions for plantations, improving planting efficiency while connecting growers and consumers with digital technology, enabling high-quality agricultural products to be accepted and well recognized by consumers to win a market premium. Today, Syngenta Group’s digital agriculture solutions, including precision tools, satellite, drone imaging and agricultural IoT sensors, have been used on approximately 6.7 billion mu of land (446.7 million hectare) around the world, effectively helping growers worldwide to address various challenges and increase efficiency, yield and profitability.

Syngenta’s successful implementation of the CROPWISE™ program and the MAP business has been enlightening.

CropWise™ is a one-stop smart agriculture platform within the Syngenta Group dedicated to offering growers solutions tailored to the various stages of crop growth, helping growers make scientific decisions. CropWise™ is a dynamic, flexible and expandable platform that brings together the agricultural technology companies recently acquired by Syngenta. Currently, CropWise’s™ global service area has exceeded 1.2 billion mu(80 million hectare) across more than 20 countries.

Syngenta Group China’s MAP and Digital Agriculture are positioned as an ″agricultural value chain co-creation and sharing platform,″ which focuses on concurrently improving yield, quality and efficiency of grains and other important agricultural products. By establishing its MAP technical service center and MAP demonstration farm, Syngenta has promoted the application of its advanced technologies, as well as delegated production, development and application of the MAP digital agricultural system. The MAP beside full-process quality control and traceability system was created to help farmers increase income and efficiency, also benefitting consumers. As of September 2022, MAP has built and operated more than 560 technical service centers in major agricultural counties in China, serving an area of 200 million mu(13.3 million hectare) via on-line and off-line services. An accumulated increase of 1-billion-kilo grain output has been achieved, as well as an average earning increase of 8% to 15%. In the first three quarters of 2022, MAP’s revenue increased 80% year-on-year, reaching $2.6 billion.

FieldView™ is Bayer’s leading digital farming platform, which provides growers worldwide with satellite, field sensor and smart harvesting services, enabling them to manage farming more efficiently. FieldView™ has been used on around 80 million hectare of land in 23 countries. For farmers of different sizes and locations, FieldView™ is a ″digital lever″ that allows them to achieve higher outputs with lower inputs. It also helps reduce carbon emission by maximizing farming efficiency.

The xarvio is BASF’s digital agricultural service platform, which covers three main products: xarvio ™ SCOUTING, xarvio ™ FIELD MANAGER, xarvio ™ HEALTHY FIELDS. In recent years, through self-development and industry integration, BASF has continuously optimized and upgraded the functionality of related products, while more new products are being added to the portfolio of the company.

The system’s considerable market potential in digital agriculture has also attracted the attention of various industry leaders, including fertilizer giants, agricultural equipment manufacturers, large technology companies, and small and medium-sized agricultural technology startups.

Various market entities stepping into seed treatment industry, chasing future prospects

Seed treatment technology has become an important driving force to the goal of ″pesticide reduction and efficiency increase,″ as well as the green agricultural development initiative, due to its advantages of high efficiency, cost benefits, environmental safety, long-lasting action, multiple uses and easy mechanized operation. According to MarketsandMarkets, the seed treatment market is expected to grow from $6.1 billion in 2022 to $9.2 billion by 2027, at a predicted CAGR of 8.3%, higher than the growth rate of the crop protection market. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years. In terms of regions, North America dominates the global seed market with a market share of around 39%, while Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing region and is considered a key area of growth in the seed treatment market in the coming years. In terms of crop types, corn is the largest seed treatment segment market, while oilseed has the highest growth rate in the seed treatment market in recent years. The fastest-growing industry sector is seed treatment with biological solutions, such as biostimulants and biologicals, which is estimated to reach 11.9%, and, in some cases, could even replace traditional synthetic molecules for controlling pests, diseases and nematodes.

In recent years, the market share for seed treatment products in the pesticide market has been increasing, as well as the number of registered products. Prime manufacturers, including Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, UPL, Corteva, Nufarm and FMC, have invested in the R&D of new and sustainable seed treatment products, including the development of novel molecules, new formulation technologies, such as multi-compound formulations, as well as the study of the functionalization of seed treatment technology and multi-crop extended applications.

The world’s leading speciality chemical companies include Croda, Borregaard, Solvay, Evonik and IMCD, which offer a range of innovative and sustainable solutions for optimizing the performance of seed treatment products.

With the rapid development of biological seed treatment solutions, a series of seed treatment biological formulation products, including bio-stimulants, bio-nematicides, bio-fertilizers and bio-fungicides, have been released to market by leading companies, such as UPL, Tradecorp, Novozymes, Groundwork, Rizobacter, Azotic Technologies and Fyteko.

Chinese GMO commercialization being accelerated, which is of an epoch-making significance to Chinese agricultural development

Compared to overseas markets, the Chinese seed industry has recently continued developing, while heavily relying on imports of advanced traits and premium seeds. The commercialization of mainstream bio breeding has just started, and there is still a large gap in the Chinese market compared to the global market.

Currently, the global food security situation is facing severe challenges. Achieving self-reliance and self-improvement in seed technology, independent and controllable seed development, improvement of national food security from the source, have all become a national strategy. In the context of revitalizing the seed industry, the commercialization of GMOs in China is being accelerated.

In February 2022, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs issued, in succession, the Guidelines for Field Efficacy Testing of Herbicides for Herbicide-tolerant GM Corn Field, the Guidelines for Field Efficacy Testing of Herbicides for Herbicide-tolerant Soybean Field and the Announcement No. 542 on the registration data requirement for Herbicide-tolerant GM Crops. These guidelines provide a legal basis for the registration of targeted herbicides for herbicide-tolerant GM corn and soybean.

In December 2022, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs held a meeting to validate GM corn varieties, covering 20 product varieties. If the varieties are approved, GM corn seed may begin to be planted and sold in the first quarter of 2023. Relaxing GMO plantation restrictions will have a huge impact on domestic corn plantation.

In January 2023, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs issued the 2022 Agricultural GMO Biosafety Certificate (Production and Application) under Approval List (II), which includes two GM corn programs and one GM soybean program. Currently, China has successively issued 13 GM corn biosafety certificates and four GM soybean biosafety certificates.

In the latest Central Government Document No. 1 released at the start of 2023, special emphasis is being placed on the intensified implementation of the seed industry’s revitalization action for biological breeding. The document calls for the promotion of the nation’s joint breeding research and livestock genetic improvement plan; the acceleration of breeding of new varieties, such as high-yield and high-oil soybean, short-period growth rapeseed and saline-alkaline tolerant-crops; facilitating the industrialization of the biological breeding of corn and soybean; expanding the scope of pilot trials in an orderly manner; and the implementation of standardized plantation management.

The process of industrializing biological breeding in China continues to accelerate. Currently, Da Bei Nong, Longping Hi-Tech, China Seed Group and China Forest Seed Group have been granted a series of GM biosafety certificates. Fengle Seeds, Denghai Seeds and Quanyin High Tech have been strengthening their R&D cooperation and capital investment.

Liu Shi, executive vice president of Da Bei Nong Group, said that the commercialization of Chinese GM crops has significantly impacted the globalization and capitalization of China’s agriculture, integration of seed enterprises, farming methods, and use of herbicides and insecticides. He predicts that if China opens up the market in the near future, the biotechnical product market share account for some 80% in about four to five years.

Innovation of formulation technology and application technology, promoting rapid innovation and growth of adjuvant technology

With the growing difficulty and rising costs of new molecule global pesticide development, as well as the long cycle of commercialization, agrochemical enterprises have focused on the innovation of formulation technologies and application technologies. In-depth formulation development and the more intensified application of existing products still remain the mainstream focus of development, which will prolong the life cycle of existing products. According to the report released by Engima, between 2021 and 2030, some 42 active ingredients will come off patent, many of which are varieties with a market value of more than $100 million and have great commercial potentials. In general, global pesticide production has entered the post-patent times. Sales of generic products have grown from 77% of the global market in 2014 to over 90% at present.

In addition, the increased popularization of UAV crop protection application, the growing problem of pesticide resistance, and the demand for precision spraying on specific weeds drive technical innovation in pesticide formulations. The innovation of pesticide formulations usually includes improvements to formulation performance and scenario-oriented formulation innovation. Adjuvants play a key role in formulation innovation and sustainable agricultural development. According to relevant data, by 2022, there were more than 1,000 types of pesticides that require application with adjuvants while more than 2,500 adjuvants are available for use. The correct choice of adjuvant can improve product performance by 50% to maximum. The sales of agricultural adjuvants are also expected to grow from $3.3 billion in 2021 to around $4.8 billion.

Mixtures with multiple active ingredients, the development of OD formulations (moisture-sensitive active ingredients that should to be OD formulated), the development of substitutes for CS and FS microplastics, improvements to the stability of microbial agents, the precision development of local agrochemical formulations, and the development of drone application-oriented products and precision agricultural formulations all drive the research and development of prime speciality chemical and adjuvant companies, such as Stepan, Croda, Evonik, Solvay, ingevity, SINVOCHEM, Nouryon, BASF Advanced Chemicals and Indorama, which acquired the adjuvant business of Huntsman and Oxiteno. According to different market needs and application scenarios, these companies will launch different adjuvants or integrated solutions.

In recent years, biological formulations have developed rapidly, as well as their accompanying adjuvant products and solutions, which can solve the problem of the combination of biologicals with chemical agents have become a new growth area. Therefore, major adjuvant companies have, in succession, introduced innovative solutions based on the stability and synergy of biologics.

Chinese agrochemical industry concentration continues to increase, international market influence greatly enhanced

The slowdown of the Chinese economy and the overcapacity in Chinese agrochemical industry will continue to drive upstream and downstream integration and the intensification of industrial consolidation. Only this method can enhance the competitiveness of enterprises, to the benefit of sound development of the industry. In some cases, the ability to integrate resources is even more important than the ability to create resources.

The 14th Five-Year Plan - Pesticide Industry Development Plan, issued by the Chinese central government in 2022, called for the merging&acquiring, restructuring, transforming and upgrading of pesticide manufacturers to make them bigger and stronger, as well as cultivating several large and medium-sized manufacturers to improve competitiveness. According to vcearth.com, in 2022, Chinese listed pesticide companies were very active in the capital markets and were conducting financing and investment transactions every month, with a total amount of above RMB6 billion that was spent on upstream and downstream industrial chain deployment, as well as diversified business development. According to incomplete statistics, in 2022, 26 listed pesticide companies conducted a total of 49 financing programs. Except for Cynda, Xinnong, Yangnong Chemical, Nutrichem, Huifeng, Lier Chemical, Meibang Pharmaceutical, Changqing and Sino Agri Union, the other 17 leading pesticide manufacturers were involved in financing and investments in the capital market.

According to relevant performance data, the operating incomes and profits of major listed agrochemical companies hit historic highs in 2022, where the operating income of many enterprises exceeding RMB10 billion. According to the business statistics reports of major enterprises, many recorded an operating income of more than RMB10 billion, including Yangnong Chemical, Lier Chemical, Sino-Agri Leading BioSciences, Rainbow and Wynca.

According to the 2021 Top 20 Global Agrochemical Enterprises released by AgroPages, the 12 Chinese companies ranked on the list saw their sales increase significantly, totaling $29.117 billion in total and accounting for 40% of total sales on the list. In terms of operating income of prime listed agrochemical companies in 2022, more Chinese companies will be ranked on the 2022 Top 20 Global Agrochemical Enterprises, and their sales are expected to make new breakthroughs, with enhanced international market influence.

Indian agrochemical industry ushers in fast-developing period with strategic opportunities, agricultural technology embracing explosive growth

India is currently the world’s fourth largest pesticide producing country, only behind the United States, Japan and China. In recent years, the Indian government launched ″Make in India″ initiative to encourage the rapid expansion of the pesticide production capacity of local Indian enterprises, in order to meet global demand. The Indian agrochemical industry is classified by the Indian government as one of the country’s 12 leading global industries, which is set to grow at a rate of 8% to 10% by 2025. In addition, India has recently made considerable efforts to support agrotechnical innovation and the high-quality and sustainable development of Indian agriculture.

Rohit Nagraj, Sr. VP Centrum Broking - Chemicals & Agrochemicals at Centrum Broking Limited, said that although China dominates the global export market, the multinationals’ ″China+1 strategy″ is expected to boost India’s growth in the export market. Meanwhile, in line with the Backward Integration/Make in India initiative, India’s dependence on imports is likely to decrease. Rohit also noted that the capital expenditure of India’s 13 leading chemical and agrochemical companies showed a 16% CAGR in 2013-2022, even reaching 20% CAGR from 2017 to 2022. These companies jointly made investment of more than 475 billion rupees over the past decade while planning an investment of 235 billion rupees for the next few years (2022-2023). Furthermore, over a period of time, the Indian chemical industry has won the trust of customers from around the world, due to its consistent product supply, reliable product customization, effective cost optimization, considerable amount of spending on R&D, construction of infrastructure, compliance with environmental and safety standards, and protection of intellectual property. More importantly, customers’ trust has now improved in terms of dealing with the supply chain constraints, logistical bottlenecks and cost rise pressures.

According to ″2021-2022 Top 20 Indian Agrochemical Companies″ released by AgroPages, some companies gained sustained business growth by launching new products, expanding their capacities and building new plants, as well as extending the international market and increasing exports.

In 2022, Best Agrolife attracted attention across the industry due to its product launches. Best Agrolife is the first company in India to produce the insecticide, Ronfen (pyriproxyfen, diafenthiuron and dinotefuran). It is also the first agrochemical company in India to produce pyroxasulfone technical, chlorantraniliprole technical and propaquizafop technical, and is also authorized to produce Tembotrione technical in the local market, to be followed by the market launch of Tembotrione formulations.

On August 13, 2022, the world’s largest insecticide chlorantraniliprole technical came off patent, which caused Chinese enterprises to compete for the right to start manufacturing the product. The huge market potential has also attracted the interest of Indian companies. Best Agrolife made its first move to become the first agrochemical company in India to launch chlorantranilamide, which is available in two novel formulations, CITIGEN and VISTARA. Subsequently, Indian Natco Pharma, GSP and Dharmaj launched chlorantraniliprole-based formulation products one after the other.

Moreover, UPL, Insecticides India, Meghmani Organics, Willowood, Indofil, Rallis and GSP Crop Science are also competing to launch more capacity and launch products.

It is worthy of note that the Indian agrotechnical industry has explosive growth in recent years. Currently, India has 1,300 agricultural startups that are utilizing artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), the Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies to improve efficiency and productivity. According to Entrackr’s data tracking platform, Fintrackr, between January 2020 and June 2022, nearly 100 agtech startups raised nearly $1.33 billion through 139 deals. In the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the revenue of the agtech sector increased by some 85%. According to a 2020 report by Ernst & Young, the potential value of the Indian agtech market is expected to reach $24 billion by 2025. The agricultural startups active in the agtech sector include EM3, Cropin, Jumbotail, Ninjacart, DeHaat AgroStar, Farmbee, Licious and Zappfresh. These companies are using various technologies and services to help farmers increase yield, efficiency, both time and cost, and profits across the agricultural value chain.

In addition, the Indian government launched the Digital Agriculture Mission for 2021-25, which covers the development of artificial intelligence, remote sensing, drones, robotics and other technologies, as well as provides subsidies for the procurement of drones.

EU biostimulant regulation being implemented, setting a benchmark for industry development

According to data from ResearchAndMarkets.com, the global biostimulant market is expected to grow from $3.5 billion in 2022 to $6.2 billion by 2027, at an average rate of 11.8%. Currently, Europe is the largest market while the Asia-Pacific region, especially China, will be the fastest-growing biostimulant market. Although the global biostimulant industry is developing rapidly, there is currently not a clear and unified definition of biostimulant, for which the mostly used definition is the one given by European Biostimulants Industry Council (EBIC). At this moment, creating a clear and standardized regulatory system and facilitating market access requirement will be key to the development of the biostimulant industry.  

On July 16, 2022, the EU included plant biostimulants in its new (EU) 2019/1009 governing registration of biostimulants, which are no longer managed as pesticides. The regulation defines biostimulants by four major functions and classifications. A biostimulant is a product that stimulates the entire crop nutrition process; biostimulant products are mainly divided into microorganisms, extracts, acids and miscellaneous; the use of biostimulant products on plantations can improve crop nutrient utilization, crop tolerance to abiotic stress and yield quality; biostimulants facilitate the full utilization of closed nutrients in the soil and rhizosphere.

For the first time, all EU member states will adopt the same definition and registration system for biostimulants, which will greatly simplify the entire registration process and speed up market access while ensuring the quality and safety of products. The new mechanism is expected to further increase product sales in the EU. Currently, while there is still no clear definition and regulatory system that cover biostimulants in many countries and regions, the introduction of the EU regulation offers a good reference for the rest of the world, and will also help progress global biostimulant industry development.

Brazilian agriculture develops against adverse situation, building up new growth engines constantly

Brazil has the largest arable land area in the world, being one of the world’s most important agricultural input markets, the largest pesticide market and the largest fertilizer import market. Brazil also has the largest trade surplus in global food trading, and is one of the few countries with the potential to increase agricultural productivity. However, rising fuel and fertilizer costs, financing stress, warehousing constraints, overburdened ports and transport systems, and the pressure on environment protection have all posed challenges to the long-term growth of Brazilian agriculture. Currently, Brazil has released a series of strategic initiatives to encourage transformative and rapid development of Brazilian agriculture. Brazil is also constantly strengthening the integration of agriculture with science and technology to enhance research and innovation in agrotechnology. The measures include: continuous enhancement of the government-led agrotechnical innovation; implementation of improvement of tropical farming and promotion of application of information technology. Furthermore, Brazil has increased the development and application of biologicals over recent years.

Founded in1973, Embrapa is a national agricultural research institution that established more than 40 research centers throughout the country, playing a key role in the development of Brazilian agriculture. Through comprehensive agricultural research, as well as collaborations with research institutions and companies from around the world, Embrapa has contributed to the transformative development and innovation of Brazilian agriculture.

Some 90% of Brazil’s wheat is produced in the southern part of the country. In recent years, Embrapa has developed wheat varieties suitable for irrigated cultivation in central Brazilian states, such as Goiás, with a satisfactory results, which is expected to help Brazil achieve self-sufficiency in terms of wheat in 10 years. Phosphorus exists in the soil in Brazil and other parts of the world worth billions of dollars, but it is not absorbed and utilized by plants. Therefore, Embrapa has developed a microbial technology that promotes the absorption of this nutrient by roots. To dissolve phosphorus contained in the soil, an inoculant has been developed to help plants acquire nutrients that cannot be absorbed by plants. Embrapa has also developed a gene-edited sugarcane variety that addresses one of the biggest challenges facing the industry, which is improving the contact of enzymes with saccharides in cells, therefore, facilitating the production of ethanol, both first generation and second generation, and the extraction of biological products. In addition, Embrapa and Helix have worked together to launch to the first self-developed GM corn, BTMAX, in Brazil.

Start-ups that are active in all links of agricultural industry chain have also become an important part of Brazil’s agricultural economic growth. These start-up companies have broadly applied information technology to agricultural production, greatly improving the technical level and efficiency of agricultural production, as well as accelerating the process of agricultural development. In terms of the number science and technology institutions, as of 2022, the number of startups engaged in agribusiness in Brazil reached 1,703, an increase of 7.5% over 2021. Out of these companies, 756 (44.4%) are engaged in processing, distribution, retailing and consumption activities; 705 (41.4%) provide services within farms; and 242 (14.2%) are users of farm inputs.

In the area of agricultural inputs, Brazil’s biological formulation sector is one of the fastest developing industry sectors in this new round of agricultural transformation, with more than 500 biological products having been registered in Brazil. According to Koppert, by 2030, the Brazilian biologicals industry will grow by 300% to reach a total market value of $1.8 billion, while the total global market value will reach $23 billion. According to data from Blink Consulting, the Brazilian soybean growers spent 829 million BRL (roughly $159 million) on biological pest control in 2021, and in 2022, soybean crops took up nearly half of biopesticide applications in the country. Considerable development potential is attracting the attention of all biological product manufacturers and distributors worldwide, who are accelerating the business layout of new technologies, new products and new applications related to biologics.

If you'd like to share your company/solution story, please contact Grace Yuan via: grace@agropages.com

This article was initially published in AgroPages' 'Annual Review 2022' magazine.


Source: AgroNews


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